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E & P News

2017

Sep 2017: BP has installed the topsides of the production and risers (PR) platform for the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project in the Caspian Sea in a water depth of 94m. Shah Deniz Stage 2 project completion is due in 2018 adding 16 bcm per year of gas production to the 9 bcm produced by Shah Deniz Stage 1 from 2 new platforms and 26 wells.

Apr 2017: Gas production at the Absheron field in the Caspian Sea could begin in late 2019 or early 2020 according to SOCAR. The field is believed to contain up to 350 bcm of gas and over 300 mm bbls of condensate.

Mar 2017: The Ministry said that the country cut oil production to 776,400 bbls per day in February, as part of its agreement with OPEC to reduce output (Globalshift notes: In reality Azerbaijan’s production has been declining naturally and will not recover until deeper water production begins).

2016

Nov 2016: Total (operator, 40%), Socar (40%) and Engie (20%) have signed an agreement for a first phase of production from the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Caspian Sea discovered in 2011. The first phase development involves one well at a water depth of 450m with produced gas supplying the domestic market.

Aug 2016: The Azeri Chirag Guneshli (ACG) field, operated by  BP, has produced 3 bn bbls of oil. ACG has 6 production platforms - Chirag-1 (onstream in 1997), Central Azeri (2005), West Azeri (2005), East Azeri (2006), Deepwater Gunashli (2008) and West Chirag (2014) plus 2 processing (PCWU) platforms.

May 2016: BP and Socar have signed an MOU to explore for prospects in Block D230 in the North Absheron Basin of the Caspian Sea. Block D230 has water depths of up to 300m.

Mar 2016: Socar has started drilling a new well at the Neft Dashlari field (Oily Rocks) in the Caspian Sea. Socar is implementing a program to stabilise oil output, which is currently dropping. In 2015 part of the platform with the living quarters on the field collapsed into the sea.

2015

Jun 2015: Shah Deniz Stage 2 and the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion (SCPX) are progressing. The Shah Deniz Stage 2 project will deliver 16 bcm through 3,500 kms of pipeline to Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Italy. First gas is targeted for 2018.

Mar 2015: The US$12 bn Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) will bring gas from the Shah Deniz (Phase 2) field to Europe from 2019. Six bcm is for Turkey with the rest going via TAP (8 bcm to Italy and 2bcm to Greece and Bulgaria). SOCAR (operator, 58%) plans to increase initial capacity from 16 bcm to 31 bcm by 2026. Partners are BP (12%) and BOTAS (30%).

2014

Dec 2014: BP and SOCAR have signed a PSA to explore for and develop potential prospects in the shallow waters  (up to 40m depth) along the margins of the Caspian basin to the south of the Absheron Peninsula.

Nov 2014: Total hopes to start production at the Absheron gas field in the Caspian Sea in the fourth quarter of 2021, peaking at 5 bcm of gas per year. The field has estimated reserves of 350 bcm of gas. The FID will be made in the fourth quarter of 2017 with drilling beginning in late 2019. Total and SOCAR both hold 40% with GDF Suez (20%).

Sep 2014: SOCAR has issued a tender for the joint exploration of two  gas  fields in the Caspian Sea (Umid and Babek). SOCAR found large volumes of gas and condensate at Umid in 2010 but has faced technical problems in production.

Jun 2014: RWE is evaluating the Nakhchivan gas and oil field in the Caspian Sea and plans to drill wells in 2015. RWE and SOCAR signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 for Nakhchivan which is 90 kms south of Baku, and was discovered in 1960. ExxonMobil declined to continue exploration after signing an agrrement in 1997, citing the absence of significant reserves.

May 2014: Total (operator, 40%) will draft a development plan for the Absheron gas field in the Caspian Sea by the end of 2014. Socar (40%) and Total signed a joint venture for exploration drilling on the prospect in 2009, which started in 2011. GDF Suez (20%) joined the project later. Apsheron has estimated reserves of 300 bcm of gas plus condensate.

2013

Dec 2013: BP will go ahead with Stage Two of the Shah Deniz gas project, including 26 subsea wells and two platforms. It will cost, with a South Caucasus Pipeline expansion through Azerbaijan and Georgia, US$28 bn. First gas is expected in late 2018. A Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline across Turkey and a Trans Adriatic Pipeline across Greece and Albania, into Italy will also be built.  

Sep 2013: The Shah Deniz consortium announced a 25-year sales agreement for 10 bcm of gas to be produced from Stage 2 of the project each year. Nine companies will purchase this gas in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria opening up the Southern Gas Corridor. In total 16 bcm of Stage 2 gas will be delivered follow agreement with BOTAS in 2011 to sell 6 bcm of gas in Turkey. Shah Deniz Stage 1 currently produces up to 9 bcm each year.

Jul 2013: BP, SOCAR and Total, developing the Shah Deniz field, will join the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium. TAP’s shareholding is now BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (16%), Total (10%), E.ON (9%) and Axpo (5%). TAP will transport gas from Shah Deniz II to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish border, cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic and come ashore in Italy. It will expand capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year opening up the European Southern Gas Corridor.

Apr 2013: SOCAR and Statoil have agreed to explore the Zafar-Mashal block in the Caspian Sea replacing ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. This deep water block, previously known as D-9 and D-38, is located 110 kms south-east of Baku in water depths from 550m to 900m and covers 640 sq kms.

Apr 2013: The Shah Deniz consortium has begun evaluating final offers from the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) for transportation of Shah Deniz II gas to Europe with a final decision due by end of June 2013. The Shah Deniz II project is expected to add 16 bcm of gas production to the 8 bcm from Stage 1. Stage 2 will include two new bridge-linked production platforms, 26 subsea wells, 500 kms of pipelines, an upgrade for the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and expansion of the Sangachal Terminal.

Jan 2013: Statoil is in talks with Socar for participation in a new giant gas project. It is looking to take a major role in developing the Umid, Babek, Zafar and Mashal fields based on a similar model to the Azer-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) project. Statoil currently participates as a partner in the ACG and Shah Deniz projects, both operated by BP.

Jan 2013: BP is targeting 2018 for first gas from the second $10 bn phase of the Shah Deniz gas project. Output from Shah Deniz 2 is expected to add 16 bcm per year (10 bcm for Europe and 6 bcm for Turkey). Shah Deniz 2, has a production capacity of 8 bcm and is being developed by BP, Statoil, SOCAR and others. It is estimated to contain 1.2 tcm of gas. The consortium must choose whether to transport production via the Nabucco pipeline or the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP).

2012

Sep 2012: The Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea has not lived up to expectations. After peaking at 823,000 bbls per day in 2010 it averaged 684,000 bbls per day in the first half of 2012. The operator (BP) and state oil company (Socar) say the geology is more difficult than expected and blame the high cost of maintenance. ACG will increase by up to 100,000 bbls per day when the Chirag Oil Project platform comes online late in 2013 but output will continue to decline.

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