SOCAR and Norway’s Equinor have confirmed a discovery of Karabagh field located 120 kilometers offshore, east of Baku, in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Drilling of the first appraisal well at Karabagh oil field was started on December 23, 2019. The well was drilled in water depth of 180 meters by the Dada Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig operated by SOCAR’s Caspian Drilling Company (CDC). The reservoir is at a depth of approximately 3.4 kilometers. Estimated size of the discovered volumes of oil and gas are satisfactory for pursuing commercial development of the Karabagh field.
SOCAR’s President, Rovnag Abdullayev said: “Karabagh is the first oil field discovered during the independence period of our country and its oil reserves estimated more than 60 million tons. The successful delivery of the appraisal well to the target safely and on time is the result of effective collaboration of SOCAR and Equinor. Development of the Karabagh field will significantly contribute to Azerbaijan’s oil incomes. The field proudly bears the name of the heart of our Motherland – Karabagh.”
The Karabagh prospective structure was identified in 1959 as a result of seismic surveys. It was specified in 1984 and its oil and gas reserves were confirmed in 1997-1998 through exploration drilling. The oilfield is located 120 km east of Baku, at a depth of 150-200 meters in the open sea.
The consortium operated by Caspian International Petroleum Company (CIPCO) drilled three exploration wells in the Karabagh PSA signed in 1995: two wells found gas in the southeast portion of the structure and the third well indicated presence of oil in the western part of the structure. In 1999, the PSA was terminated due to the non-commercial discovery.
In May 2018, SOCAR Karabagh and Equinor signed a Risk Service Agreement related to development of Karabagh Oil Field in the Azerbaijan Sector of Caspian Sea. According to the agreement, they hold equal shares.
Since 1994, SOCAR and Equinor have been cooperating in important joint projects, including the operating of the Azeri Chirag and Deep Water Gunashli (ACG) oil field.