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    BP To Drill at Shafag-Asiman In Q4


Shafag-Asiman could be one of Azerbaijan's biggest, and deepest, gas fields.

by: Dalga Khatinoglu, Ilham Shaban

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BP To Drill at Shafag-Asiman In Q4

BP is preparing to start drilling at Azerbaijan’s offshore Shafag-Asiman field in the fourth quarter of 2019, the major told NGW on September 11.

The exploration well will be drilled to a depth of 6,000-7,000 metres, in waters 624 metres deep, BP said. Heydar Aliyev, a new semi-submersible drilling rig (SSDR) named after the country's late president and operated by the local Caspian Drilling company, will undertake the work. Operations should finish within 12 months.

Heydar Aliyev is currently being used by France’s Total at Azerbaijan’s Absheron field. Total told NGW that during the last 379 days, the rig drilled 7,411 meters vertically and horizontally. Drilling work has recently finished, it said, with the rig due for return to Caspian Drilling by October.

Absheron contains 350bn m3 of gas and is expected to produce at a rate of 1.5bn m3/yr starting in the third quarter of 2021 during its first phase. The development of the second phase is expected to start in 600 days, once the first well’s performance has been evaluated.

Total operates Absheron through a 50:50 joint venture and state-run Socar. The field’s second phase could add a further 3.5bn m3 or more to annual production, the Azeri firm told NGW.

Socar estimates that the Shafag-Asiman structure has 500bn m3 gas and 65mn tons of condensate in place, potentially making it the biggest Azeri gas field after Shah Deniz. BP and SOCAR signed a production-sharing agreement to develop the site in July 2010, and it entered into force in June 2011. BP serves as operator, with each partner having a 50% interest. Their contract lasts for 30 years, with a possible five-year extension.