By Aynur Karimova
French Total Company and Azerbaijan's state energy giant SOCAR are close to completing negotiations to install a new generation drilling rig for working in the Absheron gas field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
"Total hopes for early conclusion of negotiations, given that the drilling rig will be ready by late 2016, but it depends on both sides. Currently, this issue is being actively discussed. The sides have made progress in the negotiations and are close to a final agreement. It is expected that a final agreement will be reached in the next few weeks," a source in the Total E&P Azerbaijan Company told Trend.
SOCAR's First Vice President Khoshbakht Yusifzade earlier said that Total will be first to receive a new generation rig for conducting drilling works in the Absheron field.
Works on construction of the first drilling rig of a new generation of SOCAR were launched in 2013. Their completion is expected in late 2016. The new drilling rig is designed for drilling of wells with depths up to 8,000 meters at a water depth of 1,000 meters.
The cost of the project on construction of a drilling rig of a new generation in Azerbaijan amount to roughly $1.116,7 billion.
The discovery of the Absheron field was announced in September 2011.
SOCAR geologists are sure that the reserves of Absheron could amount to 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million metric tons of condensate.
Absheron project participants include SOCAR - 40 percent, Total – 40 percent and Gaz De France Suez - 20 percent.
It is expected that the first volume of gas from the Absheron field will be received in late 2021 or early 2022. The final investment decision on the project will be made in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the beginning of the drilling of the first well is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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