Rig gearing up to drill oil & gas prospect in Caspian Sea

JSC National Company (NC) KazMunayGas (KMG), a firm representing Kazakhstan’s interests in the national oil and gas industry, and Russia’s Lukoil have set the wheels into motion to mobilise a semi-submersible rig, which is expected to carry out drilling operations in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea in mid-December.

During meetings held in Moscow last week, the management of KazMunayGas and Lukoil discussed cooperation in the area of offshore geological exploration in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. The two players talked about the implementation of the Zhenis and Kalamkas-Sea/Khazar projects.

Regarding the Zhenis project, KazMunayGas disclosed that the Dada Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig, expected to start mobilising on 1 December 2022, is scheduled to kick off drilling activities on 15 December. The Dada Gorgud rig, owned by Caspian Drilling Company (CDC), is of Friede & Goldman Pacesetter Series 9500 design and can accommodate 120 people.

Magzum Mirzagaliyev, Chairman of KazMunayGas’ Management Board, expressed hope for the successful implementation of the project despite the challenges faced by the companies in the process of implementation.

As a reminder, Lukoil reached an agreement with KazMunayGaz in April 2019 for the exploration and development of hydrocarbons in the Zhenis block in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea with water depths ranging from 42 to 150 metres. Administratively, the Zhenis site is located in Mangistau Oblast.

KazMunayGaz and Lukoil each hold a 50 per cent stake in this project. Based on the agreement, the exploration period is nine years and the production period is 25 years. The main oil and gas prospects within the Zhenis block are associated with Paleozoic and Mesozoic deposits.

Moreover, KMG and Lukoil signed an additional agreement in June 2022 on commercial terms for joint implementation of the Kalamkas-Sea/Khazar project.

KazMunayGas also highlighted that work is underway to amend the legislation of Kazakhstan to adopt an improved model contract (AMC) for subsoil use in the area of hydrocarbons. Following adoption, the players will be able to submit documents to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy to obtain and conclude a contract for subsoil use.

When it comes to KazMunayGas’ other recent activities, it is worth noting that the firm joined forces with Chevron in June 2022 to collaborate on evaluating, investigating, and pursuing lower carbon opportunities in the country.

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This is part of the efforts undertaken by Chevron and KazMunayGas to support Kazakhstan’s target vision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.