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Azerbaijan signs $1 billion semisubmersible drilling rig deal

BY AIDA SULTANOVA

BAKU, Azerbaijan --A company owned by Azerbaijan' s state-run oil company, Socar, signed a $1 billion deal Tuesday with a division of Singapore' s Keppel to build an off-shore drilling rig in the Caspian Sea. The rig is expected to be completed by late 2016, company officials said.

"It will be a new generation drilling rig that will be able to drill at a depth of 1,000 m and to record depths of 12,000 m [below the surface]," said Socar President Rovnaq Abdullayev.

Negotiations were underway for the construction of another floating drilling rig, he said.

"We have already started negotiations on [the] construction of a second rig that would be used for drilling at the Absheron gas field which is operated by France' s Total," he said. Reserves at that field are estimated at up to 300 Bcm.

Mr. Abdullayev said that despite Azerbaijan having abundant oil and gas projects, a lack of such drilling rigs is hampering exploratory drilling.

Azerbaijan, which is targeting gas exports of up to 50 Bcm a year by 2025, aims to become a major supplier to Europe.

Azerbaijan has three semi-submersible rigs which can drill at depths of 350-400 m and 7,000-7,500 m beneath the surface.

Dow Jones Newswires

06/04/2013

 

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