• Natural Gas News

    Shah Deniz 3 on Hold: BP



BP is waiting a new capable drilling rig for exploration drilling in Caspian

by: Kama

Posted in:

Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Exploration & Production, Caspian Focus, News By Country, Azerbaijan

Shah Deniz 3 on Hold: BP

UK’s  supermajor BP needs  to appraise deeper located gas and condensate horizons of the giant  Shah Deniz  field  in Caspian to prepare a program for its further development.  But currently the project is on hold as the company focused on Shah Deniz 2 development, BP regional president Gordon Birrell said.

“ Shah Deniz  3 remains a very exciting opportunity for us,  at some point we will drill deeper in the field. But we don’t have a firm plans at the moment as we are very focused on Shah Deniz 2”, said Birrell answering a question from NGW.   “At not a distance future we will drill wells as we have to appraise how deep the reservoir is and how to develop it. But currently we hold it opportunity for the future “, he added.

A 3D seismic was shot in a northern part of Shah Deniz where no data was acquired before, he said.  

BP announced a discovery of extra reserves in Shah Deniz deeper horizons  in 2007. The SDX-04 appraisal and exploration well, some 70 kilometres south east of Baku, discovered a new high pressure reservoir in a deeper structure below the currently producing reservoir. The well was drilled to a Caspian-record depth of more than 7,300 metres in the south western part of Shah Deniz.

BP’s exploration  vice-president Greg Riley is more cautious about future development in Shah Deniz. “ When we carried out seismic programmes in the shallow water Absheron Peninsula (SWAP) area we took advantage of this and conducted additional survey in order to acquire some seismic data to see what opportunities exist on Shah Deniz beyond the current development”, he told NGW without giving more details.

According to the Socar sources deep located gas saturated horizons in Shah Deniz presents more challenges for development. “The abnormally high pressure that was encountered during drilling of the SDX-4 well  did not allow to fully delineate the new structure below the currently producing Fasila Suite” the sources said.

According different estimates the Shah Deniz 3 reserves are between 300bn m3 to 500bn m3 of natural gas. The  Shah Deniz consortium’s contract runs until 2048 after extension agreement signed in 2013 between its partners and the government.

BP collected, processed and interpreted seismic data from its other deep-water Caspian project Shafag-Asiman, Birrell said.

“We do want to drill it but we are just waiting a rig being available.  A high quality rig is needed for that prospect as it could be very high pressure…I don’t have a firm schedule for drilling”, he said.

State player Socar is ready to provide to its partner a new semisubmersible that is under construction in CSC yard not from Baku , the company first vice president Khoshbakht Yusifzade told a conference in Baku August 29. The rig is scheduled to launch in April next year.

Azerbaijan desk