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This month Infield Systems takes a brief look at the offshore market in the Caspian Sea up to 2020. The average water depth for all offshore projects expected to be developed in theCaspian Sea between 2016 and 2020 is around 120 m (394 ft), the deepest being 550 m (1,804 ft). Infield Systems anticipates Azerbaijan to see the largest share of offshore capex going forward. A major project in Azerbaijan which is expected to require significant investment over the period of analysis is the second phase of BP’s Shah Deniz gas field, which is one of the world’s largest natural gas developments. The project involves the construction of two bridge-linked offshore platforms, around 500 km (311 mi) of subsea pipelines, 26 subsea production wells, and an upgrade of the Sangachal terminal. Another field development in Azerbaijan that could see investment over the forecast period is Total’s Absheron gas field. Discovered in 2011 and located in water depths of around 500 m (1,640 ft), the field is estimated to contain between 5 and 10 tcf of natural gas. If developed it could be connected to the South Caucasus Pipeline system, which transports natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia.
Outside of Azerbaijan, the giant Kashagan oil field operated by the North Caspian Operating Co. could require additional investment going forward to help increase production. Kashagan came onstream in 2013. However, production was halted due to pipeline corrosion caused by sour gas. Replacement lines with internal cladding will be installed to militate against pipeline corrosion, with installation expected in 2016. Turkmenistan and Russia are also anticipated to see offshore developments in their sectors of the Caspian Sea. For instance, Lukoil’s Vladimir Filanovsky oil field is one of the largest offshore oil fields in Russia and could enter production in 2016.
-George Griffiths, Senior Energy Researcher, Infield Systems
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