On March 30, 2020, President of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev met with Head of Equinor Representative Office in Azerbaijan Fawad Quraishi. They have discussed the issues related to the discovery of Karabagh oil field and exchanged views on the prospective cooperation in new areas, including industrial safety.
On March 19, 2020, the parties confirmed the discovery of Karabagh field, a new field with 60 million tons of oil reserves, as a result of successful drilling operation. The Karabagh field is the first oil field discovered during the independence period of Azerbaijan. During the 30 March meeting, Equinor Apsheron AS confirmed its sustainable participation in the development of Karabagh field, based on effective results.
During the meeting, SOCAR and Equinor Apsheron AS signed a new cooperation agreement in support of their commitment to develop and strengthen collaboration in industrial and fire safety, health and environment, motor transport safety and emergency response within independent and joint projects of the two companies. The parties agreed on sharing best practices, procedures, advanced expertise, and relevant documents with regard to management of industrial and fire safety, health and environment, motor transport safety, emergency response and land transport information on best practices that contribute to reduction of accident and injury rates, minimization of the ecological footprint. The agreement also considers sharing practices and data as related to the use of international standards on industrial and fire safety, health and environment, motor transport safety and emergency response, exchanging experience in managing pollutant emissions, including greenhouse gas, as well as arranging and holding meetings, workshops, consultations and exchanging experience in the areas of mutual interest.
Norway’s Equinor (former Statoil) and SOCAR are cooperating in several projects, including the development of Karabagh oil field, exploration and production in Ashrafi-Dan Ulduzu-Aypara prospects. The companies also hold shares in the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oil fields in Azerbaijan.
SOCAR and Norway’s Equinor have confirmed a discovery of Karabagh field located 120 kilometers offshore, east of Baku, in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Drilling of the first appraisal well at Karabagh oil field was started on December 23, 2019. The well was drilled in water depth of 180 meters by the Dada Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig operated by SOCAR’s Caspian Drilling Company (CDC). The reservoir is at a depth of approximately 3.4 kilometers. Estimated size of the discovered volumes of oil and gas are satisfactory for pursuing commercial development of the Karabagh field.
SOCAR’s President, Rovnag Abdullayev said: “Karabagh is the first oil field discovered during the independence period of our country and its oil reserves estimated more than 60 million tons. The successful delivery of the appraisal well to the target safely and on time is the result of effective collaboration of SOCAR and Equinor. Development of the Karabagh field will significantly contribute to Azerbaijan’s oil incomes. The field proudly bears the name of the heart of our Motherland - Karabagh.”
The Karabagh prospective structure was identified in 1959 as a result of seismic surveys. It was specified in 1984 and its oil and gas reserves were 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 consortium operated by Caspian International Petroleum Company (CIPCO) drilled three exploration wells in the Karabagh PSA signed in 1995: two wells found gas in the southeast portion of the structure and the third well indicated presence of oil in the western part of the structure. In 1999, the PSA was terminated due to the non-commercial discovery.
In May 2018, SOCAR Karabagh and Equinor signed a Risk Service Agreement related to development of Karabagh Oil Field in the Azerbaijan Sector of Caspian Sea. According to the agreement, they hold equal shares.
Since 1994, SOCAR and Equinor have been cooperating in important joint projects, including the operating of the Azeri Chirag and Deep Water Gunashli (ACG) oil field.