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Azerbaijan’s SOCAR Boosts Oil, Gas Output In Caspian Sea

Tsvetana Paraskova

Azerbaijan’s state-run oil company SOCAR will produce another 43,800 tons of oil and around 3.65 million cubic meters (129 million cubic feet) of gas per year after it commissioned a new well on the Guneshli offshore field.

The daily production from the well is 120 tons of oil and 10,000 cubic meters (353,100 cubic feet) of gas, Socar said on Thursday.

The Guneshli field is located offshore, on the prolific Absheron-Pribalkhan Trend, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the Absheron Peninsula. Guneshli is SOCAR’s largest fully owned asset and accounts for a large part of its oil and gas production. SOCAR operates the shallow water part on its own, while the deepwater part is developed jointly with foreign partners. SOCAR uses Guneshli’s export revenue to subsidize the company’s less profitable onshore fields, Wood Mackenzie says in a report on the field.

For the deepwater, Azerbaijan and a consortium of foreign oil companies signed back in 1994 a 30-year Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Guneshli (ACG) field. Foreign partners in the venture – alongside SOCAR’s 11.6 percent interest -- include BP, Chevron, INPEX, Statoil, ExxonMobil, TPAO, ITOCHU, and ONGC.

SOCAR has had troubles with a string of incidents on its Caspian Sea platforms. In December 2016, at least one oil worker died and another nine were missing, after an offshore oil rig operated by SOCAR collapsed into the Caspian Sea.

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In December 2015, more than 30 SOCAR workers lost their life after another offshore oil platform—Platform 10 at Guneshli field—caught fire during a storm. A more recent fire broke out at SOCAR’s Guneshli at the end of September 2016, although no one was reported injured from that incident.

Azerbaijan is part of the 11 non-OPEC nations that joined OPEC’s production cuts. Azerbaijan has pledged to cut 35,000 bpd out of non-OPEC’s 558,000 bpd share. Last month, Azerbaijan boasted a strong overcompliance with the cuts.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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