(MENAFN - AzerNews)
By Leman Mammadova
Equinor successfully cooperates with Azerbaijan in the development of such oil and gas fields as Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Karabakh, Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu and Aypara.
The Norwegian company plans to begin drilling of the first exploratory well in the prospective Aypara structure in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea in the first quarter of 2020, the company told local media.
The Aypara structure is located at 25 km from the ACG in the Caspian Sea, 90 km from Baku, and extends from the northeast to the southwest.
'Drilling of the Aypara-1 well is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020. The depth of the sea at the point of drilling is 140 meters. Drilling operations are expected to last 60 to 90 days and will be completed either in the first or in the second quarter of next year, said the company.
A semi-submersible floating drilling rig is planned to be used for drilling the Aypara-1 well.
In addition, Equinor prepared a report on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of drilling the exploration well Aypara-1. The report aims to prevent or minimize the impacts arising from exploration and related social, economic and other consequences.
The report reflects information on the current state of the environment and social impacts, provides forecasts on the impact of project implementation on the Caspian environment and measures to minimize and reduce any potential impact on the environment and population.
The company plans to submit the EIA report to the public at a July 4 hearing in Baku.
Azerbaijan strongly cooperates with Equinor, especially in the development of hydrocarbon fields.
Equinor owns 7.27 percent of the ACG block development project in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea and 8.71 percent in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), the main export route for ACG oil.
Last year, Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR and Equinor signed a production sharing and exploration agreement to explore and develop the block of Ashrafi, Dan Ulduzu and Aypara (ADUA) promising structures, and a risk-service agreement to develop the Karabakh field. The agreements envisage a 50/50 share distribution.
The contract for developing Ashrafi Dan Ulduzu block of structures, signed in 1997 between SOCAR (20 percent), BP (30 percent), Unocal (25.5 percent), Itochu (20 percent) and Delta HESS (4.5 percent), lost validity on March 7, 2000. Hydrocarbon reserves in the amount of 20-40 million tons were discovered at the Ashrafi field.
The ADUA exploration area is located around 50 kilometers east of Baku, 14 kilometers to the east of Azerbaijan mainland (Absheron peninsula), and approximately 7 kilometers to the east of Pirallahi Island in water depths varying between 20 and 225 meters.
Equinor is also cooperating with Azerbaijan in the development of renewable energy sector. Recently, Energy Ministry of Azerbaijan and Equinor signed a memorandum of understanding for the cooperation on renewable energy.
The company plans to invest more in alternative energy projects in the future, and it is expected that by 2030, up to 15 percent of investments will be directed to renewable energy projects.