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Total announces challenges of working on Caspian Sea

Lack of offshore drilling rigs creates difficulties for work on the Caspian sea, Eric Meyer, Total's planning development manager, said Nov.21 at the Oil and Gas Week 2014 conference in Baku.

He said that currently Total, which is the operator of the development project of the Absheron Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate field, considers various options for dealing with the lack of the rig.,

Another problem of work on the Caspian Sea is that the large vessels have difficulty entering its waters and they need to pass the Volga-Don canal, Meyer said.

All these facts limit the possibilities of participation of more contractors on the market, which ultimately affects the cost of the projects, in particular the ones realized with participation of Total, said Meyer.

Work on the construction of the first new generation drilling rig for the needs of SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) was started in 2013. The new rig will be designed for drilling wells at depths up to 8,000 metres and at a water depth of 1,000 metres. The rig construction is planned for 2016.

The cost of a new generation rig construction project in Azerbaijan is almost $1.117 billion. The operator of the drilling rig will be the Caspian Drilling Company (CDC) where a 92.44 per cent share is owned by SOCAR. Singapore firm Keppel FELS Limited is chosen as the plant construction contractor. In June 2013, CDC signed an agreement with this company for the construction work.

The rig will be used for drilling on prospective structures and fields in Azerbaijan, such as the Umid field and the promising structures Babek, Karabakh, Ashrafi and others.

Azerbaijan must build four new floating drilling rigs taking into account the implementation of big projects in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

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Published on:
November 24, 2014
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