SOCAR and Equinor agree to new joint upstream projects in the Caspian Sea
On 30th of May SOCAR and Statoil Azerbaijan, part of Norway’s Equinor group signed a Risk Service Agreement (RSA) related to the development of the Karabagh Oilfield in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea and an Agreement on the Exploration, Development and Production Sharing (PSA) for the Ashrafi -Dan Ulduzu -Aypara Area in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR and Tim Dodson, Equinor’s executive vice-president for exploration signed the documents.An appraisal well drilling in the Karabagh oilfield is scheduled for 2018, according to the terms of RSA, with commissioning of the platform and first production planned for 2021. Under the PSA, seismic acquisition will be carried out, with exploration drilling to be scheduled. To operate the projects Statoil and SOCAR will form a 50-50 joint operating company.
President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev said: “Today we enter a new phase of cooperation between SOCAR and Equinor. 25 years of partnership between our companies have laid a solid foundation for efficient cooperation on the new joint projects. These agreements will take on significance, contributing to the stability of oil production and satisfying the growing demand for natural gas in Azerbaijan, while providing raw materials for the processing industry.”
Eldar Saetre, President and CEO of Equinor, said: “The agreements signed today represent a natural next step in the region. This will strengthen our position in a prolific basin and develop growth options. The licenses lie in close proximity to the ACG field in a basin we know well. We now look forward to work on these new exploration projects in partnership with SOCAR.”
The Karabagh prospective structure was identified in 1959 as a result of seismic surveys. It was specified in 1984 and 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 exploration targets at Dan Ulduzu and Ashrafi areas are located in the Caspian Sea, 100-110 km north-east of Baku at a depth of 80-180 meters. Aypara is situated 90 km north-east of Baku in the open sea and was identified as a result of seismic surveys in 1980.