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Total redefines strategy in Azerbaijan from Shah Deniz to Absheron

Total to focus on Caspian Sea Absheron gas field

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolThe French major Total and its partners, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the other French oil and gas company GDF-Suez, are finalizing the conceptual design to develop the Absheron offshore gas field in the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea.

This decision on the design to be detailed and implemented appears as a key milestone in the Absheron project development for all partners.

It comes in following series of Total announcements about selling its working interests in different projects related to the Shah Deniz Full field Development.

Total_Azerbaidjan_Absheron_Plaform_Phase-1_MapIn December 2013, Total decided to pull out from the joint venture to build and operate the Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project to carry out Shah Deniz gas from Azerbaijan to Greece through Turkey.

In May 2014, Total published a press release to explain that it is selling its 10% stake in Shah Deniz and the South Caucasus Pipeline to the Turkish national oil company (NOC) TPAO

In June 2014, Total communicated its intention to withdraw from the last section of the pipeline from Greece to Italy and known as Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project.

Although Total is present in Azerbaijan since 1995, this cascade of publications could have indicated a general withdraw from this country.

But Total had only a minority share in these giant projects while it discovered in 2011 the Absheron liquid-rich offshore gas field in the central area of the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea.

In Absheron, Total and its partners are sharing the working interests as following:

 – Total 40% is the operator

 – SOCAR 40%

 – GDF-Suez 20%

Located approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Baku, Absheron is lying just beyond the continental shelf by 500 meters of water depth and 7,000 meters of total depth.

Total-SOCAR-GDF-Suez to phase up Absheron project

From the current estimations resulting from three years of exploration, Total and its partners, Absheron should hold 5 to 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas.

In addition to this non-associated gas reserves, Absheron appears to be rich of condensate still under evaluations.

Total_Azerbaidjan_Absheron_Plaform_Phase-1In this context, Total made the decision to re-allocate its interests in Azerbaijan and to concentrate its financial effort from Shah Deniz to Absheron where it operates.

Because of its size, Total and its partners are planning to develop Absheron in phases in similar way as Shah Deniz.

Even though Total withdrew from Shah Deniz project and all related infrastructures, it will contribute directly to the optimization of these assets as Total is planning to export Absheron gas and condensate through BP and SOCAR Sangachal Terminal and the Southern Corridor Pipeline project.

For Absheron Phase-1, Total should spend $5 to $7 billion capital expenditure including:

 – Subsea production system with four subsea wells

 – Offshore platform

 – Export pipeline system to the Sangachal Terminal

In order to save costs, the Absheron offshore platform should be located on the continental shelf of the Caspian Sea by only 100 meters of water depth and should have a capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day (cf/d) of natural gas.

From the actual design concept, Total and its partners, SOCAR and GDF-Suez are preparing to move into the front end engineering and design (FEED) work of the Absheron Phase-1 project in expecting the first production by 2021.

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