Itera, Zarubezhneft to explore Turkmen Caspian offshore deposits
05 October 2010 , 12:32RIA Novosti855
Russian independent gas producer Itera and Zarubezhneft oil company will jointly explore offshore sites in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea until 2012, Itera Board Chairman Igor Makarov said on Monday.
"We will carry out geological exploration together with Zarubezhneft at the 21st block located on the Caspian Sea shelf. This year, we will draw up the block's geochemical scheme and start 2D and 3D seismic exploration work, which we will finish in 2011. All the work will be organized on the lines of an open international tender. The cost of the project is estimated at $6 billion," Makarov said in an interview with Gazprom corporate magazine.
He added that the block's extractable reserves amounted to 219 million tons of oil and 92 billion cubic metres of associated gas.
"If we confirm the reserves, then, along with marketable gas sales, we plan to build a plant, upon approval from the Turkmen leadership, to produce nitrogen fertilizers with a capacity of 650,000 tons of urea per year. The oil extracted from the deposits may be exported or delivered to the Turkmenbashi oil refinery. The project's key parameter is the expected productive horizon depth of 6.7 to 7.2 kilometers. Nobody has drilled wells at such a level in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea," Makarov said.
Makarov added that a joint venture of Itera and Zarubezhneft, and ZarIT, held the licences to explore and develop the 29th, 30th and 31st blocks on the Caspian Sea shelf.
"Currently, the project is frozen but sooner or later Turkmenistan and Iran will agree on dividing their shelf sectors and we'll start working at these three blocks. Furthermore, the 21st block is located near the 29th block," he said.