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BP Azerbaijan proposed commencement of exploratory drilling in the Shafag-Asiman deepwater Caspian block in 2019, Socar, the company’s partner in the license, announced on June 5.

The first exploratory well in the 1,100 km2 block will be about 6,500-7,000 meters deep, at water depth of approximately 600-800 meters. High reservoir pressure and high temperatures are expected. According to seismic data, productive layers start at 5,000 meters depth and continue to 8,000 meters. Socar estimates that the Shafag-Asiman structure has 500 bcm of gas and 65mn tons of condensate in place.

However, even if the drilling is successful, the production is unlikely to begin before 2030.

Both BP and Socar hold a 50% stake in the license, with BP designated as the operator. The licensing contract entered into force in 2011 and is valid for 30 years, with a possibility of to extend it by five years.