Russian Itera and Zarubezhneft companies will conduct exploration work in the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea as part of the joint project until 2012, said Chairman of IGC Itera Igor Makarov in an interview with "Gazprom" magazine.
"Together with Zarubezhneft we will be conducting exploration work on block 21, located in the Caspian shelf. This year, we will complete a geochemical circuit of the block, and proceed to 2D and 3D prospecting seismology, which is to be completed in 2011. All work will be conducted on the basis of a competitive international tender. The project cost is tentatively estimated at US $ 6 billion," said Makarov.
As recalled by RIA Novosti, Itera and Zarubezhneft signed a cooperation agreement in November last year on the project development and production of hydrocarbons in Block 21 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. According to the document, Zarubezhneft should get 51 percent in the project, with Itera holding 49 per cent.
Makarov said that according to preliminary estimates the recoverable reserves of the block amount to 219 million tons of oil and 92 billion cubic meters of associated gas. Another 100 billion cubic meters, according to expert forecasts, may constitute free gas resources.
"If reserves are confirmed, we plan, other than sales of marketable gas, to build a plant for production of nitrogen fertilizer with the capacity of 650 thousand tons of urea per year upon the consent of the government of Turkmenistan. Oil from the fields can also be exported and shipped to the Turkmenbashi oil refinery. The most important parameter of the project is the depth of the expected productive horizon, ranging from 6,7 to 7,2 km. Until today, nobody has drilled wells to such depth in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea," Makarov said.
In addition, Zarit company jointly with Zarubezhneft owns a license for exploration and development of blocks 29, 30 and 31, Makarov said. "This project is dormant at present, but sooner or later, Turkmenistan and Iran will agree on the section in the shelf contested by them, and we will start work on these three blocks. Especially given that block 21 is located close to block 29," he stressed.