On 30th of May State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (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.
•Since 1992 SOCAR and Statoil (Equinor) have been cooperating in important joint projects, including the operating of the Azeri Chirag and Deep Water Gunashli (ACG) oil field. SOCAR has a 25% share in ACG, while Statoil Azerbaijan owns 7,27% interest.
•Statoil Azerbaijan has 8,71% interest in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline that is the main export route for the ACG oil, while AzBTC, an affiliate of SOCAR owns a 25% share in the BTC pipeline.
•Statoil Azerbaijan is part of the recently renamed Equinor group (former Statoil Group), and will be changing its name to Equinor Azerbaijan.
The World Bank, Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) held its annual meeting in Azerbaijan for the first time on May 7-8, 2018.
The meeting coincided with the 10th anniversary of the cooperation between SOCAR and the World Bank working toward the elimination of global warming and climate change. As a result of the project implemented jointly by SOCAR, BP and the GGFR approximately 4.5 billion cubic meters of flaring gas have been utilized in recent years.
The participants of the meeting will visit SOCAR’s production sites to learn from the experience of Azerbaijan on gas flaring reduction, its achievements, as well as the possibility of sharing this knowledge throughout the world. 50 senior officials and experts represent 18 countries and 13 international oil and gas corporations at the GGFR annual meeting. The opening session was attended by Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Rafiga Huseynzade, SOCAR Vice President for Ecology, Naveed Naqvi, World Bank’s Country Manager for Azerbaijan, Europe and Central Asia, Christopher Gilbert, GGFR manager, Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, senior managers of BP, Chevron, Exxon, Norwegian Petroleum, Shell, Statoil, Total and other leading oil and gas companies.
In his address to the meeting, Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR, said: “Today humanity faces several global problems, including environmental ones. This is a worldwide problem. Hence why SOCAR carries out its activity together with international organizations. Gas Flaring Reduction, along with its contribution to the protection of environment saves this resource for the country’s economy and serves economic sustainability”.
Naveed Naqvi, World Bank’s Country Manager for Azerbaijan, Europe and Central Asia, said: “Currently more than 75 governments, oil companies and development institutions joined the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative. We have been working together with Azerbaijan and SOCAR to reduce carbon emission for 10 years. I think, SOCAR’s successful experience is an important contribution to the elimination of this global environmental problem and their experience could be a good example for other oil and gas companies”.
The World Bank together with governments and companies started the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership in 2002. It aims to divert gas resources to the sustainable development of the countries and diversification of the economies. 150 billion cubic meters of gas is flared at the world’s oil production sites. It causes emission of more than 300 million tons of CO2. If these resources are diverted to the production of electricity, it will produce 750 billion kVt energy, which is equal to the Africa’s yearly demand.