Total's discovery boosts Azerbaijan's gas reserves

Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:24pm GMT

BAKU, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan's gas reserves are expected to rise to 2.5 trillion cubic metres (tcm) from a previous estimate of 2.2 tcm after a major gas discovery in the Caspian Sea by the French group Total , a vice-president of Azeri state energy firm SOCAR said on Monday.

Total said on Friday it had made a major discovery at Azerbaijan's offshore Absheron block estimating its potential reserves at several trillion cubic feet of gas and associated condensates.

"This prospective structure's reserves may be estimated at 350 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas and 40 million tonnes of condensate," Khoshbakht Usifzade told reporters.

"So, if Azerbaijan's total gas reserves have been previously estimated at 2.2 tcm, this indicator has now reached 2.5 tcm," he said.

SOCAR and Total signed a deal on exploration of the Apsheron gas field in February 2009. GDF Suez joined the project later.

Chevron , Total and SOCAR started exploration at Apsheron gas field at the end of the 1990s, but pulled out of project as did not discover enough volumes of gas.

"The discovery at the Absheron gas field proves that Azerbaijan has a big potential to become a major gas exporter in the world," Usifzade said.

He said that after further exploration drilling of 44 metres deep, the drilling would be continued in a different direction for another 1,500 metres.

"That bent drilling is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012," Usifzade said.   Continued...

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