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Equinor preparing to start drilling at Azerbaijani field

July 11/ 09:03

Baku. At the beginning of next year, the Norwegian company Equinor (former Statoil) plans to start drilling the first well in the Aypara area in the northern part of the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, Trend reports with reference to sources involved in the project.

"The drilling may start in spring," the source said. "It will become clearer after the drilling at the Karabakh field ends."

Equinor plans to start drilling at the Karabakh field in late September - early October. It depends on the completion of the reconstruction and modernization of the Dede Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig. This is being implemented at the shipyard Caspian Drilling company, the drilling subsidiary of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR.

Drilling at the Karabakh field will take about three months, although depending on the progress of the work, this may take longer.

In line with the project by Equinor, the well at Aypara structure will be standard, it will be drilled vertically to the depth of 3,400 meters with the water depth of 140 meters. This may take 2-3 months, according to the report.

The Aypara structure is located 25 kilometers north-west from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) field and 0 kilometers away from Baku.

On March 13, Azerbaijan’s Caspian Drilling Company Ltd. (CDC) and Norwegian Equinor Azerbaijan Karabakh BV (Equinor) signed a contract for the drilling services at Karabakh field of Azerbaijan.

In accordance with the contract, CDC will drill for Equinor two wells on the Karabakh oilfield, where Equinor serves as project Operator for Karabakh field development with participation of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. Equinor and SOCAR each holds 50 percent stake in the project.

Equinor also signed with SOCAR a contract on exploration and future production sharing for the Ashrafi-Dan Ulduzu-Aypara (ADUA) exploration area.

The Karabakh oil and gas field, discovered in 2000, is located 130 kilometers to the east of Baku. The sea depth in the field varies in the range of 250-450 meters. The initial oil reserves of the field are estimated at 100 million tons.

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