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History



Offshore

In the19th Century peole were aware of rocks in the Caspian Sea close to the Absheron Peninsula covered by a film of oil. The area was named Black Rocks. Scientific studies began in 1859 but it was not until 1896 when a pioneer of offshore oil production, mining engineer Witold Zglenitsky, made a request to the Baku Mining Department to begin drilling wells on reclaimed land in Bibi-Heybat Bay. It would have involved installation of a special waterproof platform, 4m above sea level, to allow draining of oil into barges with a capacity of around 1.4mm bbls. Although the plan was never implemented it did establish that offshore oil production was possible.

In 1934 mining engineer F. Rustambekov wrote articles in the magazine ‘Azerbaijan Oil Industry’ about oil fields under water in the Caspian Sea and was the first to suggest methods of developing them. The study of the geological structure of the area was conducted in 1946 by the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences and in 1949 the Neft Dashlari (Oil Rocks) field was discovered around 100 kms from the coast. It was then the world’s largest offshore oil field and the early development of Oil Rocks was the foundation for offshore production and drilling around the world.

In development

The Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea was discovered in 1999 and covers 860 sq kms with 1000 bcm of gas and 2 bbn bbls of condensate initially in place. Up to 2020 the field had produced over 130 bcm of gas and 250 mm bbls of condensate.

The first phase of the Shah Deniz field began production in 2006 delivering up to 10 bcm of gas each year to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Second phase production began in 2018 which, at plateau, adds 16 bcm of gas production capacity to bring total capacity to 26 bcm.

With the completion of the SGC pipeline system in early 2021, this additional Shah Deniz gas flows to Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Italy. The pipelines that make up the SGC system consist of the South Caucasus Pipeline expansion (SCPx) through Azerbaijan and Georgia, a 428 km, 48-inch pipeline through Azerbaijan, a 59 km, 48-inch pipeline and 2 new compressor stations in Georgia, a 1,300 km, 56-inch pipeline and 600km, 48-inch pipeline across Turkey (TANAP), and an 878 km, 48-inch pipeline across Greece, Albania and Italy (TAP).


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AZERBAIJAN: TECTONIC ELEMENTS

Globalshift.co.uk (source: ENVOI)

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