The Absheron gas condensate field is located in the Azerbaijan part of the Caspian Sea. (Credit: gloriaurban4 from Pixabay)
The JV partners announced the start of production of the first phase of development of the Absheron field in July 2023. (Credit: C Morrison from Pixabay)
ADNOC signed deal to acquire 30% stake in Absheron Gas Field. (Credit: ADNOC Group)

Absheron is an offshore gas and condensate field located in the Azerbaijan part of the Caspian Sea.

The field commenced production in July 2023.

TotalEnergies and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) both hold a 50% stake each in the project, which is operated by the joint company Joint Operating Company of Absheron Petroleum (JOCAP).

In August 2023, TotalEnergies and SOCAR signed an agreement to divest a 15% participating interest each in the Absheron gas and condensate field to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, following which, ADNOC will own a 30% stake in Absheron. On the other hand, SOCAR and TotalEnergies will hold 35% stakes each respectively.

Absheron Location and Reserves

Absheron gas and condensate field is situated in the Absheron archipelago of the South Caspian oil and gas basin in Caspian Sea.

The location is around 100km east of Baku, Azerbaijan. Water depth at the site ranges between 350m and 550m from north-west to the south.

The Shah Deniz gas and condensate field is located around 25km away from Absheron.

According to initial estimates, Absheron contains 350bcm of gas and 45 million tonnes of condensate.

Discovery and Drilling Activity

In 2009, SOCAR and TotalEnergies (then Total) signed an agreement on exploration, development, and production sharing on the Absheron offshore block.

The drilling process commenced in January 2011 using the Heydar Aliyev semi-submersible drilling rig.

In September 2011, TotalEnergies announced the discovery of the Absheron field.

The field was discovered by Absheron X-2 well which encountered more than 500ft of cumulated net gas pays within high-quality sands on the northern flank of the 270km2 structure.

The Absheron X-2 exploration well was drilled at a depth of 474m and it reached a depth of 6,874m. The discovery included one of the hydrocarbon-bearing intervals that was tested at 960 thousand cubic meters per day (km3/d) of non-associated gas.

According to the well test results, the hydrocarbons are located in the Balakhany and Fasila formations on the Northern compartment of the structure.

In July 2012, a ‘Notice of Discovery and its Commerciality’ for the Absheron discovery was submitted. It was followed by the signing of an agreement between TotalEnergies and SOCAR in November 2016 to establish the contractual and commercial terms for the first production phase of the Absheron field.

In May 2018, SOCAR-owned Caspian Drilling Company (CDC) started drilling well ABD-001 via the Heydar Aliyev semi-submersible drilling rig. The drilling of the well led to the discovery of the B and D productive horizons of the Fasila formation.

Absheron field development

The Absheron field will be developed in multiple phases.

The first phase, which began production in July 2023, involved connecting a subsea production well to a new gas processing platform linked to SOCAR’s existing facilities in the territory of the Oil Rocks Oil and Gas Production Department.

The produced gas-condensate mix will be transported through a 34.3km long 12-inch multi-phase transport pipeline located at a depth of 13m.

The initial production is expected to be 4 million cubic metres of gas per day and 12,000 barrels a day of condensate. The gas will be used to meet domestic demand in Azerbaijan.

In the first phase, hydrocarbons will be extracted from the top reservoirs. In the subsequent phases, the deeper and shallow reservoirs will be developed.

Key Contractors Involved

Chevron Overseas was associated with 3-D seismic, engineering-geological works and exploration work at Absheron’s structure in late 1990s.

In November 2017, the SOCAR-KBR Limited Liability Company (SKLLC) joint venture won a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract for the topsides of the Absheron Early Production Project.

A consortium between Saipem’s subsidiary, Saipem Contracting Netherlands, Boshelf and STAR GULF FZCO received the subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (SURF) contract for the offshore project in October 2018.

In August 2019, Petrofac and SOCAR JV secured an engineering and technical services contract to support exploration and production activities at Absheron.