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SOCAR to build rigs, refinery in Azerbaijan

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) plans to build two offshore drilling rigs for the development of oil and gas prospects.

"As you know, SOCAR has launched a large-scale geological survey. After the discovery of the Umid gas field, we want to work on the Babek geological structure. In addition, we are preparing for exploration work on the Shafag-Asiman structure, while the drilling of a new exploratory well on the Absheron Peninsula will require new cutting-edge rigs because the existing ones cannot meet the entire scope of work," SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said.

He said that the decision to build two new offshore drilling rigs had been taken and the relevant paperwork completed.

"Work has already begun to prepare for the construction of these facilities, and the necessary tasks and design work are under way. The rigs will be built in Azerbaijan in the new shipbuilding and ship repair plant and at the Caspian Shipyard Company's construction site, using its own infrastructure," Abdullayev said.

The new rigs have to be able to drill wells of up to 8,000 metres in water 1,000 metres deep.

The construction of each may require about $300-400m.

Oil refinery

Construction of the new oil and gas refining complex in Baku's Garadag District should begin in early 2013, Rovnag Abdullayev said.

"The design of the new complex is being developed. The feasibility study for the project has been completed. Detailed engineering work has begun. The long process of selecting licensees and other equipment will begin once this work is complete. The whole process is proceeding on schedule and if it continues in the same mode, we can begin construction in early 2013," Abdullayev said.

SOCAR Vice-President Tofig Gahramanov said in June that the refinery would be put into operation gradually in 2018-2020.

The gas refinery with a capacity of 10bn cubic metres will come on stream first. This will be followed by petrochemicals production and finally an oil refinery with a capacity of 10m tonnes.

The refinery is to process gas from fields developed by SOCAR independently and from SOCAR's share in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz fields if necessary.

The plant will produce A-92, A-95 and A-98 grade petrol, jet fuel and diesel.

Azerbaijan has two oil refineries at present, the Heydar Aliyev Refinery and Azerneftyag, both of which are owned by SOCAR.

Source: News.az

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