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    Socar Vice-President: Azerbaijan Preparing to Develop New Gas Projects

Summary

Azerbaijan is planning development of three gas reserves

by: Ilham Shaban

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Natural Gas News, News By Country, Azerbaijan, Caspian Focus

Socar Vice-President: Azerbaijan Preparing to Develop New Gas Projects

Despite the commencement of Russia gas export to Azerbaijan, new statistics indicating a drop in Azerbaijan’s gas production, as well as a planned petrochemical complext project requiring 12 billion cubic meters of gas feed, any concerns on Azerbaijan ability to delivered required quantities of gas to EU are out of question.

Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh, The First Vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) for Geology, Geophysics and Field Development said that Azerbaijan has several new gas projects which will allow for significantly increased output.

Replying Natural Gas Europe’s question in the sideline of a business forum co-organized by the Caspian European Club and SOCAR, Yusifzadeh said that “we continue drilling the third well in Umid gas field, commenced by SOCAR in 2010.

"We are at a depth of 6000 meters, drilling works going through really hard geological conditions, this is appraisal well. In case a new layer be found, then installing a new platform in this field could be recognized , which means increasing of production (from this field) significantly", commented the top manager of SOCAR.

Azerbaijan has re-started development of the Umid gas field with drilling of an appraisal well on March 19th. Reserves at Umid are estimated to be about 200 billion cubic meters (bcm), but geological surveys say the field is connected to Babek gas field, with twice than Umid’s gas deposits. SOCAR started gas production from Umid in September 2012, at 1.5 million cubic meters per day, but this volume decreased by more than 50 percent later due to what called the “complicated geological structure of field”.

Yusifzadeh said that, 1 million cubic meters of gas per day is produced from two wells of Umid field.

Azerbaijan also preparing to develop Absheron gas field with 350 billion cubic meters of gas reserves. Absheron is the second big gas field after Shah Deniz. Currently, the second phase of Shah Deniz is under development to enable Baku to export 6 billion cubic meters of gas per annum (bcm/a) to Turkey as well as 10 bcm/a to EU by 2021.

Yusifzadeh also said that a new block was found during a drilling work recently in the "Bulla-Deniz" gas field, adding 16 bcm to this field’s reserves (to reach 31 bcm).

SOCAR announced on August 6th that it started drilling a new gas well to a depth of 6,200 m on “Bulla Deniz” in Caspian Sea. The well will produce 0.8 mcm/d of gas.

The Bulla-Deniz offshore field is located at 80 kilometers south of Baku, and it was opened in 1975. Over this period, over 61 bcm of gas has been produced at the field.

The State Statistics Committee (SSC) released a report on October 15th, saying that the country’s gas production decreased by 4.4 percent in January-September. Some 21.675 bcm of natural gas (including re-injected gas) was extracted during this period.

However, according to the report, some 14.424 bcm of marketable gas was produced in 9 months, indicating a 4.2 percent increase year-to-year.

The country’s marketable gas output reached 18.827 bcm (including 14.99 bcm of natural gas abd 3.837 bcm of associated gas) in 2014, 5.2 percent more than the previous year.  The associated gas is produced from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil fields and the statistics indicate that the share of associated gas in Azerbaijan’s total marketable gas decreased from 28 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2014. The reason is that Azerbaijan has re-injected more associated gas to these fields year to year to slow declining oil production level from these fields which are in their second half-life and face natural production decline.

Ilham Shaban is Director of the Azerbaijan Centre for Oil Studies in Baku