Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2000 (8.3)
Page 100-103

Petroleum Section
BP Current Developments

by Tamam Bayatly

Above: President Heydar Aliyev (right) and BP Azerbaijan Associate President David Woodward at BP Amoco stand in the Oil Show, June 2000.

SDX-3 Results

In mid-July, BP began drilling well SDX-3, located in the shallow-water northern flank of the Shah Daniz structure. The well is designed to be deeper than the previous two wells, but the experience and knowledge of the structure gained through complicated drilling operations in the first two wells will enable the company to achieve a substantial improvement in performance. The total depth of the well will exceed 7,000 meters, making SDX-3 one of the deepest wells in the Caspian. After testing, SDX-3 will be saved for future development. In July a key milestone was achieved towards Stage 1 development project, as partners and BP management approved the 2000 Stage 1 incremental funding to move to the next level of engineering of the Stage 1 project.

GCA-6 Appraisal Well
The GCA-6 appraisal well, situated in the far eastern part of the Azeri field, was completed in early August. BP Amoco spudded the well on March 24 in 204 m of water, making it the third appraisal well drilled by AIOC (now operated by BP) in the Azeri field.

The well was originally designed as a main well bore (GCA-6) with a geological sidetrack (GCA-6Z). As a result of information from the GCA-6Z sidetrack, a second geological sidetrack (GCA-6Y) was drilled to further evaluate the north flank in the far eastern segment of the Azeri field.

Above left: Road Safety Awareness Week for Azerbaijan children aged 5 to 9, May 2000.
Above right:
Inational dancers at the presentation of the Shirvanshah's Palace guidebook published by BP, July 2000.

The well has been plugged and suspended, keeping open the option for re-entry at a later date, which would allow further evaluation to be performed. Evaluation of the data from the well is continuing.
The Dada Gorgud semi-submersible rig is currently undergoing a minor upgrade, performed by Santa Fe International Corporation. Following the upgrade, the rig will return to work for BP.

Safety Initiative
A new joint initiative between the Azerbaijan government and the oil industry is aimed at developing state-of-the-art safety regulations for Azerbaijan's upstream oil and gas exploration and production industry covering both onshore and offshore activity.

Work on this project is expected to take two years and will involve drafting regulations, confirming the applicability of international industry standards, and if necessary, developing supplementary requirements to deal with Azerbaijan- and Caspian-specific issues. The basis of the new regulations will be the recently introduced Azerbaijan Technical Safety law together with the oil companies' internationally applied safety management practice, which focuses on major accident prevention, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

Funding required for the project is being provided equally by the industry (Agip, BP Amoco, ExxonMobil and Statoil) and the Norwegian government through the Norwegian classification society DNV. The other principal partners in the project are the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the State Technical Control Committee, which is Azerbaijan's main Safety Regulator. The Azerbaijan Government has endorsed the project by issuing a special Cabinet of Ministers' Resolution.

Above left: Donation of computer software programs to Baku's European Lyceum, May 2000.
Above right: AIOC library and kindergarten in Sabirabad refugee camp, July 2000.

Tax Milestone

AIOC made $100 million in tax payments to the State Budget of the Azerbaijan Republic between the period 1995 and July 2000. The taxes paid to the State Budget of the Azerbaijan Republic cover foreign employees, national employees, pension and employment funds, physical persons and withholding tax on foreign subcontractors.

Refugee Library
In July, AIOC officially opened a kindergarten-library building in the densely populated Galagayin refugee camp of Sabirabad. The building, constructed by AIOC shareholders, will meet the needs of the local population and play an indispensable role in the process of children's education. AIOC worked closely with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF in implementing this humanitarian project.

Orphan Summer Camp
Through BP Amoco's sponsorship, the local NGO Sahib has organized a summer camp for orphans and disabled children in Shuvalan near Baku. The camp, launched in mid-July, housed 60 children, providing them with an opportunity to rest and undergo health and psychological rehabilitation programs. Creative projects, poem and song competitions and quizzes were organized for the children during the camp. Specialists in health care, teachers and medical workers also visited with them.

Above: BP Amoco Chess Cup Tournament, June 2000.

Shirvanshah Palace Guidebook

BP helped sponsor the publishing of a tri-lingual guidebook to the Palace of Shirvanshahs, a 15th-century historical monument found at the heart of Baku's Old City. The Palace has been undergoing major restoration but still needs major work. BP hopes to attract the attention of all those who love Azerbaijan's art and culture to the value of this cultural landmark. The publication is in Azeri, English and Russian.

Chess Tournament
In June, BP sponsored Baku's second international children's chess tournament. The tournament for BP Amoco Cup was held in the Central Chess Club of Baku in collaboration with Azerbaijan's Chess Federation and the Ministry of Sports and Youth. The competition brought together leading young chess players from Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Turkey and Iran.

The event was part of BP's long association with young people's chess in Azerbaijan. In the past the company has donated computers, chess software and office equipment to the Chess Club in Baku, a number of other chess schools and the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan. Amoco, now part of BP, initiated involvement with Azerbaijan's National Junior Chess Team three years ago which has led to the team being able to participate in tournaments in France, Spain, Greece and Austria.

Helping Disabled Women
BP Amoco hosted a ceremony in July to mark the official opening of the company-refurbished offices for the Society of Disabled Women in Baku. The society aims to address psychological rehabilitation, legal protection, information exchange and employment problems of women with physical disabilities. The new office, opened through BP Amoco's help, will function as a center cooperating with a number of other offices in various locations and coordinating relief efforts and work with disabled women in other parts of the country.

Computer Education
BP has donated special computer programs to the European Lyceum in Baku in order to help the students to familiarize themselves with and make use of educational programs on biology, physics, mathematics, information technology, geometry, foreign languages and other subjects. This is not BP's first cooperation project with the Lyceum. Previously the company had opened a special classroom at the European Lyceum, furnished with computers and other information technology pieces and relevant equipment. The pupils of the Lyceum have already acquired practical skills to freely handle the computers installed in the classroom, apply their technical capabilities to the learning process and make use of the Internet network services. The new computer programs will add to the pupils' knowledge and skills.

Left: A team of 26 motorcyclists representing AIOC travel the proposed pipeline route from Baku to Tbilisi to Jeyhan.

Baku State Award
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Baku State University, AIOC was awarded a special commemorative medal and diploma for contributing to the development of Azerbaijani science and education, particularly the projects aimed at raising the university library, information technology and education standards to the international level.

Jazz CD
Rain Sultanov's compact disc presentation in Baku's Jazz Club was an event that marked the continuing traditions of once very popular Azerbaijan Jazz School and BP's support for the development of Azerbaijan's musical traditions. The compact disc is yet another gift to Azerbaijani music, which now can boast a set of BP-produced classical and contemporary music selections.

Free Press Forum
AIOC sponsored a two-day journalism forum in Baku on the topic: "The Establishment of Independent Press in Azerbaijan: Challenges and Prospects of the Transition Stage." The conference involved 50 media and media-related organizations, journalistic institutions, experts and representatives of international organizations.

Bikers Follow Pipeline Route
A group of 26 motorcyclists traveled for 838 miles (1,350km) along the proposed Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan pipeline route in order to symbolically bring the first barrel of Caspian crude oil to Turkey. The team, led by American journalist Thomas Goltz (who wrote "Azerbaijan Diary"), included representatives from all of the companies that comprise the international oil consortium AIOC: eight Americans, six Britons, five Azerbaijanis, three Georgians and one representative each from Turkey, Norway, Sweden and Germany. The riders hope that the 10-day journey will attract attention to the pipeline, which has had difficulty getting off the ground.

The pipeline will transport Caspian crude to the West, bypassing Russia and Iran. Lawmakers in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey ratified agreements for the project this past summer, but financing has yet to be arranged for pipeline construction, which must begin in early 2001 in order to be complete by 2004. The pipeline is estimated to cost $2.7 billion and will pump 1 million barrels of oil per day into Turkey.


Azerbaijan International (8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.

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