Drilling at Shafag-Asiman to begin before year-end

Drilling at Shafag-Asiman to begin before year-end

BP will hold an open meeting on September 11 to discuss a document on the Environmental and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (ESIA) of Shafag-Asiman Exploration Drilling Project, the company's press service reported.

BP is expected to start exploration drilling at Azerbaijan’s Shafag-Asiman Contract Area in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Azerbaijan's State Oil Company SOCAR and BP signed a contract on the Shafag-Asiman block for a period of 30 years in October 2010. The exploration period is four years with the possibility of extension for three more years. At the first stage, two wells are planned to be drilled. If necessary, two more wells will be drilled at the second stage.

In the operational period, the sides will implement joint operatorship within the project. Shared participation in the contract between BP and SOCAR is 50 to 50%.

The forecast reserves of the Shafag-Asiman block stand at 500 billion cubic meters of gas and 65 million tons of condensate.

The Shafag-Asiman block is located 125 kilometers to the south-east of Baku. Exploration work on the block has not been conducted yet. It is located at a depth of 650-800 meters with the depth of the reservoir at 7,000 meters, Trend reported.

Energy expert Rovshan Ibragimov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the development of Shafag-Asiman is one of the expected events in the Azerbaijani oil and gas industry. "BP is now actively involved in this project. The prospects of Shafag-Asiman are not yet clear, since there is little information on them and there are still expectations that, in addition to gas, they can have sufficient volumes of oil for commercial development, which is, of course, very attractive," he said.

"If we consider the reserves discovered in the last 10-15 years on the territory of Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea, then we will see that almost all of them are gas reserves, so the chances that Shafag-Asiman has oil are important for our oil industry," Rovshan Ibragimov added.

The expert recalled that soon drilling will begin at other promising Azerbaijani fields. "These are the Karabakh field, Umid and Babek, gas production on the Absheron peninsula. Our oil and gas production is entering a new stage: Azerbaijan needs to increase energy production in light of the commissioning of the South Gas Corridor large-scale gas export project," he recalled.

"Thus, the increase and confirmation of Azerbaijan's reserves guarantee that in the medium and long term the republic will have the necessary resources for both the domestic market and export with the prospect of expanding export supplies. At the first stage, Azerbaijan will supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Europe via TAP, but in the end it’s planned to expand this volume to 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Therefore, new reserves should be developed already now," the energy expert concluded.