Azerbaijan’s integrated drilling and oil services management company, SOCAR AQS, opened 40 wells to expand the storage capacity of the Salt Lake (Tuz Golu) Natural Gas Storage Facility in central Anatolia, head of SOCAR AQS said on Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Director General of SOCAR AQS Ramin Isayev said around $103 million will be invested for storage expansion at the Salt Lake facility.
Each well needs an investment of between $2 and $2.5 million, he explained.
"The drilling operation has been completed in a total of 17 wells out of 40," he said, adding that the contract date is scheduled and drilling operations are expected to finalize by the end of October 2020.
Currently, the facility can store 600 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas and has another 600 mcm of capacity under construction with plans to reach 5.4 billion cubic meters by 2023-24.
Commenting on the Salt Lake expansion project, he said the company considers the project “one of the most important of its kind” and aims to deliver it on time and within budget.
"I think Azerbaijan and Turkey are strategic partners in the field of energy developments. I hope that both Turkey and Azerbaijan will strengthen bilateral relations to our mutual benefit," he said.
- Low oil prices and COVID-19
Low oil prices will not affect the company's operations in Turkey, he said, although he explained that with the novel Covid-19 pandemic, new parameters have been set in the necessity to work from home and in taking extra safety precautions on-site at the Salt Lake facility.
"SOCAR AQS immediately took action in the working environment in Turkey and other places against the pandemic and now we use virtual meeting technologies more often," he said.
Last year in October, a joint venture consisting of SOCAR AQS, China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. and IC İctas Construction Industries & Trade Inc. announced the signing of an integrated drilling services contract for the drilling of 40 wells for storage expansion at the Salt Lake facility.
By Gulsen Cagatay