By Leman Mammadova
BP will soon start drilling operations at the Shafag-Asiman structure in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, where gas reserves may be equal to those of the Shah Deniz 2 field.
The first drilling exploration well will be conducted in the Shafaq-Asiman block in December 2019, Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, BP Azerbaijan Vice President, told AZERTAC.
“We plan to start drilling the well using the Heydar Aliyev semi-submersible floating drilling rig,” noted Aslanbayli.
He stressed that Shafaq-Asiman is a large gas and condensate perspective structure and may be as large as the Shah Deniz field in volume.
The operations, including well testing, will take 604 days. The first stage of drilling includes drilling and conservation of the well, and the second – its testing and liquidation.
BP suggests that the break between the two stages can last 1-3 years, depending on the availability of the rig for testing at the well. The main goal is to evaluate gas reserves in three productive reservoirs for the subsequent development of the Shafag-Asiman contract area.
The Shafag-Asiman block lies some 125 kilometers to the South-East of Baku. It covers an area of some 1,100 square kilometers. The sea depth in the area of the Shafag-Asiman contract area is 600-800 meters, the depth of the oil deposits is 6-7 kilometers. According to the primary geological studies on this structure, there are reservoirs with hydrocarbon potential.
The seismic surveys were conducted here twice, including two-dimensional seismic exploration (2D) between 1995 and 1999 and 3D seismic in 2012 to study the geological structure of the contract area and determine the characteristics of potential reservoirs.
The forecast reserves of the Shafag-Asiman block stand at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.
SOCAR and BP signed a contract on the Shafag-Asiman block of fields for a period of 30 years in October 2010. The exploration period is four years with possibility of extension for three more years. Two wells are to be drilled within the first phase. Two more wells will be drilled within the second phase, if necessary. Shared participation in the contract between BP and SOCAR is 50/50 percent.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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