New well spudded in Kazakhstan

October 16, 2000, 09:40 CEST

The second exploration well in the Kashagan structure in the Caspian has been spudded and drilling is expected to be finished by spring next year.

The Sunkar rig, owned by Parker Drilling, started drilling this second exploration well in the Kashagan structure on 6 October. Sunkar also drilled the first wildcat earlier in the summer.

Kashagan W-1, as the well is named, lies in the western part of the structure, roughly 50 kilometres west of the first exploration well.

The licencees in the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (Okioc) have applied for permission to implement a two-year programme to drill appraisal wells, perform necessary studies and obtain 3-D seismic data from the Kashagan structure.

Approval by the Kazakhstan authorities is expected within a month. The licensees are also having discussions with the authorities about certain interpretations of the production-sharing agreement, according to Knut Henrik Jakobssen, Statoil's project manager for Kazakhstan.

Up to now, the Okioc partners have shared the operatorship, but they want one of the licensees to take over as operator from now on.

The companies that have shown interest in this are ExxonMobil, TotalFinaElf, Agip, Shell and BP. Statoil is also considering applying. The deadline for applications for operatorship is 15 November.