Equinor and Socar to Explore New Azeri Opportunities
Norway's Equinor announced April 19 that alongside state-owned Azeri partner Socar it plans to drill two exploration wells offshore in the Caspian Sea.
The pair plans to drill an appraisal well later this year in the Karabagh license, a discovery from 2000. The Aypara exploration well in the Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara licence will follow.
The news appeared the same day that a BP-led group of nine partners said they have taken an investment decision on the $6bn Azeri Central East (ACE) project, in the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field.
The Karabagh oilfield is located 120km east of Baku, close to ACG, in which Equinor holds 7.27%. The Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara exploration area is located around 100km north-east of the Azeri capital.
Equinor and Socar signed in May a risk service agreement (RSA) on the appraisal and development of the Karabagh oilfield and a production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu, Aypara area.
"Equinor had an average daily equity production of 854,000 barrels per day outside Norway in the fourth quarter of 2018. We want to grow internationally, take on more operatorships and seek growth options. Azerbaijan is an important country for Equinor and over the last few years we have been able to develop new growth opportunities in the region. The decision to add one platform to the ACG field is contributing to Equinor’s international strategy," said Equinor’s executive vice president for development & production international Torgrim Reitan.