By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) and BP started the drilling of the first exploratory well in the North Khali prospective area of the Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula (SWAP) offshore block in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea on August 16.
The drilling follows the safe sail-away on August 9 of the Satti jack-up rig which is drilling the well, SOCAR and BP noted in the joint statement released on August 18 .
“This is the first well to be drilled in the contract area. The well is planned to reach a total depth of up to 2,424 meters, which is expected to take around two and a half months. The well data then will be analyzed and, if successful, an evaluation program may be conducted to confirm the results,” the statement reads.
SOCAR’s President Rovnag Abdullayev stated that “it is gratifying that after the modernization of the KazMunayGas’ Satti jack-up floating drilling rig by SOCAR’s CDC, the first drilling work has started in the Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula”.
He underlined that this demonstrates the recent development of cooperation between companies of the countries of the Caspian region. In addition, he expressed confidence that SOCAR, BP Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas will continue to cooperate successfully on projects in the Caspian Sea.
“A great deal of preparation has been made to assure a safe and robust drilling program using our experience and advanced technology solutions from other shallow water areas around the world. We look forward to working closely with SOCAR to deliver safely and efficiently this first exploration well ever drilled in the SWAP area,” BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones stated.
It should be noted that BP is the operator and holds a 50 percent interest in the SWAP production sharing agreement (PSA) with partner SOCAR holding a 50 percent interest.
The Satti jack-up rig is operated by the Caspian Drilling Company (CDC). The rig was contracted for the SWAP project in June 2021.
The SWAP PSA between BP and SOCAR for joint exploration and development of the SWAP offshore block in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea was signed in Baku in December 2014.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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