$600m oil well to test Caspian potential - The world's most sensitive well Financial Times, June 3 By Robert Corzine in Almaty
Drilling at the world's most politically sensitive oil well will start in the next few weeks.
The $600m investment in an exploratory well at the Kashagan field in the northern Caspian Sea is the biggest commitment for decades to a single well. Nine of the world's leading oil companies, including Royal Dutch-Shell and BP Amoco, are involved.
The drilling, which is starting a year late, will answer questions about the viability of the region as a major oil producer and exporter.
The Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC), the consortium overseeing the project, has based its commitment and expenditure on seismic evidence suggesting it is one of the world's last great undiscovered oilfields.
The Kashagan structure, which lies more than 14,000ft below the shallow waters of the remote northern Caspian, is three times the size of nearby Tengiz. That field, operated by Chevron of the US, is the largest oil reservoir discovered in the past 25 years and contains about 6bn barrels of recoverable reserves. A 1bn barrel oilfield is now considered to be a major world class find.
Kashagan's seismic profile is similar to that of Tengiz, but consortium officials at their headquarters in Atyrau, the provincial capital on the Ural River, say there is only a 20 per cent chance of a discovery. "It will probably be nothing or a very big find," says Paul Jeffery, operations manager for the project.
The consortium already has 40 experts in The Hague working on possible development options, suggesting optimism among shareholders, which also include Mobil of the US, Total of France, Agip of Italy, BG of the UK, Statoil of Norway, Philips of the US, and Impex of Japan. Last year the latter two companies paid the Kazakh government $500m for a combined one-seventh share in the project.
According to Mike Simmons(BIG DOG) on SI, PKD is drilling the well.
The article you posted on the Caspian Basin potential I found to be very interesting and pertinent to PKD. While I have been following this thread for a couple of months and have a minor position in this company I have rarely seen any reference made to PKD's role in the Caspian. While the cover of the 1998 annual report is titled "Fishing The Caspian". Five years ago PKD assumed the role as the first western drilling contractor in the Caspian Basin, which is deemed to be one of the last real frontiers in the search for energy and quite possibly some of the world's largest deposits of oil and natural gas. While currently Parker may be suffering financially from the woes of the oil sector and to a small degree management difficulties their pioneering efforts in the Caspian Basin are to be admired. The technical, logistical, financial and political implications involved in this endeavor are incomprehensible to a layman such as myself. As mentioned in the article you posted it talks about PKD's association in the Tengiz Field of Kazakhstan and their involvement with many major players (big oil) who are involved in this project. In the Tengiz field they are primarily involved with Chevron and its Tengizchevroil partners, also mentioned was the -OKIOC-. Parker is providing the world's largest posted barge rig for the consortium's historical entry into Caspian waters. It states that industry observers will be closely watching this first-of-a-kind offshore drilling project. The area with possibly the largest reserves is Kazahstan, and that's where Parker has established its regional base. A first of its kind artic-class barge rig is expected to begin operations in early summer. Parker has led other western drillers in establishing operations and improving logistics management in the Caspian Basin. Long-term potential in this region could be enormous. With sustained crude prices and success in this region Parker could emerge as true leader as well as a sought after and pivotal driller. I am certain many believe Parker to be way out of there league on this one as they traditionally have been a land based driller. It's obviously risky but as a driller their going to be compensated for their efforts dry hole or not. No balls no glory. Which should ultimately lead to a healthy bottom line that would benefit all. I personally wish them success and look forward to seeing the results. There seems to be a great deal of concern over the number of "coldstacked" rigs, primarily domestics, rusting away right now but I think the ultimate savior could possibly be the Caspian operations. While I am a Hoosier I'm betting on the Okies in the long haul. I have inserted a hyperlink to Alexander's Oil & Gas with a couple of interesting articles. However, when you open the website it does not present the specific articles. You have to look under speeches and the on the left side hilight the pertinent articles. A newly added one titled - Caspian Oil & Gas : Shedding Illusions by Prof. Thomas Waelde is insightful and then a little lower on the list is on titled - The Legal Status of the Caspian Sea : A Card in the new 'Great Game'.
I am new to PKD and bought in after the annual report came out, so I am still learning about PKD's operations. Since I started monotoring this board, I hadn't seen anything about PKD in the Caspian and didn't know if it had been discussed previously. I have recently purchased several energy companies and need to get the annual reports for 1998 for them. I agree getting a leg up in the Caspian region could certainly pay off big time for PKD. FWIW-You don't have to get your stock from Vancouver to play the coal bed methane theme. US listed stocks I own involved in CBM are EVER, DVD/PZE, PENG, PN, and PGEI. Everyone please run out and buy them..<g>