Turkmenistan’s state oil concern Turkmenneft has completed a second super-deep well at a new oil and gas discovery.
According to state media in Ashgabat, the borehole at the Uzynada deposit near the Caspian Sea shore was drilled to a depth of more than 7,000 metres. Casing work is currently underway, reports said, and well results will be revealed later this month.
New hydrocarbon discoveries are rarely reported in western Turkmenistan, where many fields currently in operation were identified during the Soviet era. Whereas eastern Turkmenistan contains many of the country’s biggest gas formations, the west is home to its largest oilfields.
Exploration at the Uzynada site began 40 years ago, but the wells that were drilled reached a depth of only 4,300 metres. It was only after fresh seismic data was collected several years ago that Turkmenneft committed to further drilling.
Uzynada was identified when a first 7,150-metre well was drilled at the site between 2016 and 2017. The well encountered reservoirs at a depth of 6,689-6,695 metres and was reported as initially flowing 500,000 cubic metres of gas and 150 tonnes of condensate per day.
According to state news outlets, a Chinese-built ZJ-70DB rig specially designed for deep drilling was used to sink this well.
Turkmenistan is in talks with Russia’s ARETI, owned by Turkmen-born businessman Igor Makarov, on joint development of Uzynada. The pair signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the project in late March.
ARETI already manages an undeveloped block in the Caspian Sea. While Turkmen authorities have actively pursued investors to help develop the country’s offshore resources, they have been more reluctant to offer IOCs rights to onshore deposits.
Currently the only foreign investors operating onshore projects are China’s CNPC, Italy’s Eni and Austria’s Mitro International.