Caspian Barrel INTERVIEW with Ramil Askerov, General Director of Salyan Oil Ltd, dedicated to the 23rd anniversary of the operating company
The first private energy company of Azerbaijan, GL LTD has been operating in “Salyan Oil Limited” for a year. On this occasion, we had a conversation with Ramil Asgarov, General Manager of SOL. We are presenting an interview that is quite interesting and where you can get to know more about operating company.
– A year ago, on November 19, 2021, after purchasing a 50 percent share in “Salyan Oil Limited”, GL LTD became a partner of SOCAR. Currently, GL carries out operations at “Kursangi” and “Garabagli” fields. The company has been working in “Salyan Oil Limited” for a year. What can you say about the yearly activities of the operating company?
– Currently, “Salyan Oil Limited” operating company is developing “Kursangi” and “Garabagli” fields. GL and SOCAR each owns 50 percent stake in the fields.
On December 15, 1998, for the first time, Rehabilitation, Exploration, Development, and Production Sharing Agreement was signed between SOCAR with “Frontera Resources” and “Delta/Hess Ltd”. As a result, in 1999, Joint Operating Company “Salyan Oil Limited” was established. A year later, Frontera Resources transferred its 30 percent stake to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and in 2002, CNPC International and FAL started operating here after buying 30% share of EBRD and 20% share of “Delta/Hess Ltd”.
Finally, last year CNPC International and FAL sold their shares to GL Investment, a subsidiary of GL LTD. As a result, GL Investment got a 50 percent stake in the operating company.
This year, we celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the operating company and I can say that we are very happy to be here for a year and to contribute to our oil and gas industry.
– Probably, a lot has been done during this period. What are your achievements during the year?
– We have achieved many things that we planned. I must say that, first, we were able to create trust in all our employees. We are on the way to becoming a partner of choice by our business ethics, values, and approach to our employees and partners. We have created opportunity for all our employees to communicate directly with the management team, express their opinions, put forward their suggestions, hold discussions and further improve the performance. The company often organizes townhall meetings and events. We believe that business becomes successful through respect and mutual efforts. That is what we do. Despite the production decline at the fields during the last 10 years, after GL started operations at Salyan Oil Limited, we have achieved production stabilization and 8 percent growth in the second half of this year. We must emphasize the special role of the effective partnership of GL and SOCAR, and of course, our 1000 employees, who have contributed to the continuous operation of the company over the years. We have achieved this in a short time, and we consider it as a great incentive to achieve higher indicators in the coming years.
– Can you provide information about the currently developed fields?
– An area of Kursangi and Garabagli oilfields is 450 square kilometres. They have been in operation for many years. Production of commercial oil from these two fields began in 1960s.
So far, 312 wells have been drilled in the Garabagli field, and 495 wells in the Kursangi field. The oil accumulation area of the fields is 35.28 square kilometres. A total 37 wells have been drilled in 22 years, including 29 wells in Garabagli and 8 wells in Kursangi; 28 wells are currently in operation. Five recently drilled wells are currently flowing naturally. Almost 31 percent of daily oil production comes from recently drilled wells.
– During the time I collected information about the company, I noticed that GL’s management team has a fairly wide global experience in industry and leadership. They have global work experience. You also have more than 20 years of professional experience in the oil and gas industry.
– Yes. The company has an ambitious team with the collective experience, competence and management skills to realize its goals. Our colleagues have worked for many years in the international oil and gas industry, including Azerbaijan, Iraq, Great Britain (North Sea), Ukraine, Afghanistan, Egypt, and the United States, and have gained reputation and shown successful results in old oil and gas fields.
Asif Zeynalov, CEO of GL, has worked in various positions in the oil and gas sector for more than 30 years. For many years, he held leadership positions at BP, as a General Manager, Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula PSA (SWAP), in BP’s projects in East Texas. At the same time, he was the Head of Operations in Rumaila oilfield in Iraq.
GL has a strong operational team. I have joined the GL team in January 2022. I have worked at Technical and Leadership Positions, such as Operations Production Supervisor, Operations Team Leader and Offshore Installation Manager on one of Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli platforms and Operations Discipline Manager for BP during the last 18 years. In 2018 I led the implementation of new methods of work and new organization structure in BP. For six years of my career, I worked as an Operations Production Supervisor at Oily Rocks.
In January 2022, I was appointed to the position of General Manager of Salyan Oil Limited reporting to Vice President of Operations, and from that day, I started working at the field.
Here, our goal is clear – to increase production, gain access to more resources, use existing resources in the most efficient way and carry out field rehabilitation.
– Let us talk about GL LTD. The company name is often mentioned – both as an active market participant and as the first local private energy company of Azerbaijan.
– “GL LTD” LLC (GL) is a private energy company established in Azerbaijan in 2019. As I mentioned earlier, GL Investment, a subsidiary of GL, is responsible for the rehabilitation, exploration, development and production of the block, which includes the Kursangi and Garabagli fields, and owns a 50 percent stake in the operating company Salyan Oil Limited. At the same time, the company is an operator. Another subsidiary of GL – GL International carries out restoration and development of the block including the Buzovna-Mashtaga, Gala and Zira fields located in the Absheron area under the Risk Service Agreement.
– You emphasized that GL is focused on existing resources, right? Can you explain this more clearly?
– Yes. GL LTD works on wells that already exist. Our goal is to better evaluate these existing resources, to get the maximum result from them, and at the same time to carry out rehabilitation here.
GL plans to apply new technologies in the fields, to create an environmental protection control system, thereby increasing attention to the protection of people, the environment, and property. Top management team consider HSE obligations as one of the main priorities of their activities. The company aims to minimize environmental impacts while protecting people during oil and gas extraction and transmission operations.