Kazakhstancaspishelf: an Example of Successful International Co-operation in the Oil Industry
Duzbayev Satybay, President Kazakhstancaspishelf
The Kazakhstancaspishelf joint stock company is a provider of geophysical services, whose history is linked closely to that of independent Kazakhstan. The company was founded in 1993 and is now the operator of an international consortium of oil companies (BP/Statoil, BG, Shell, Agip, Mobil, Total) for geological and geophysical surveys, and the exploration and production of oil and gas on the Caspian Sea. This role gives Kazakhstancaspishelf access to financial resources and the expertise of its foreign partners in the field of offshore operations.
Comprehensive geophysical surveys in the Kazakhstani sector of the Caspian Sea took place during 1994-1996. As a result of seismic surveys that were based on a full-scale field study and a thorough analysis by processing and interpretation centres, dozens of promising structures, including the Kashagan field, were prepared for deep-hole drilling.
Being in possession of vast experience in offshore seismic exploration, in 1999 Kazakhstancaspishelf launched large-scale 2D and 3D seismic surveys, both onshore and in the difficult-to-access transitional zone of the Caspian and Aral shelves. In these studies Kazakhstancaspishelf co-operated successfully with PGS (Norway) and JGI (Japan).
Since that time Kazakhstancaspishelf has been rapidly growing as a servicing company, capable of performing the full cycle of geophysical surveys from collecting field data to its final processing and interpretation, and providing comprehensive, high-quality services to the national oil and gas industry.
Whereas in 1999 the company completed 107 km of 2D surveys in the transitional zone, in 2000 it completed 1,769 km and commenced 3D onshore surveys (27 km2). In 2001 Kazakhstancaspishelf carried out onshore and offshore seismic surveys under nine projects in the Atyrau, Mangistau, Aktyubinsk and Zhambyl regions. The company’s five seismic teams performed a total of 1,103 km2 of 3D surveys and 1,408 km of 2D surveys. The 2001 work programme resulted in revenue that surpassed the income for 2000 by 2.3 times.
In virtually all the projects of 2001, Kazakhstancaspishelf acted as a contractor for both field studies and consequent data processing and interpretation, thus providing a complete cycle of geophysical services.
Work plans for 2002 envisage boosting the volume of modern 3D seismic surveys by more than 1.5 times.
Kazakhstancaspishelf has highly professional personnel for organising and performing field seismic surveys, downhole geophysical studies, and the processing and comprehensive analysis of geological and geophysical data. The company operates modern offshore and onshore equipment, a complete set of hardware and software for processing and interpreting geological and geophysical data, and an extensive production base. Kazseismoshelf Ltd, a joint venture with Western Geco, is contracted for processing 2D and 3D seismic field data for the National Oil Company, Kazakhoil Emba, Uzenmunaygaz, Kazakhoil Aktobe, Aral Petroleum and Tengizchevroil, and 2D seismic data for Tengizchevroil, Agip KCO, Nimir Petroleum, and AIPK.
The interpretation of seismic data as part of downhole geophysical surveys (DGS) is carried out by two centres, in Almaty and Atyrau, which operate the high-capacity SunUltr? and Blade-1000 workstations (using Schlumberger software) linked up into an information network. In 2001 the Almaty centre underwent a major hardware and software upgrade. Orders from the National Oil Company, Kazakhoil Emba, Nimir Petroleum, the Kazakh Scientific and Research Geological Exploration Institute and Tengizchevroil are currently being worked on.
The Scientific Research Centre (SRC) is widely adopting state-of-the-art equipment while dealing with orders from Tengizchevroil, Agip KCO, Uzenmunaygaz, Kazakhoil Emba, and others. The first stage of a new complex has been brought on stream that will provide a full range of laboratory services from storage and preparation of core to various other studies.
In 2001 the National Oil Company Kazakhoil approved the Concept for Kazakhstancaspishelf Development in 2001 and Onwards, which prioritises seismic work in the Kazakhstani sector of the Caspian and Aral Seas, well logging, and the renewal of production assets.
In order to assist the implementation of the Concept, an Investment Programme for 2002-2005 has been adopted by Kazakhstancaspishelf, which outlines the following six investment targets:
• purchasing equipment for offshore and transit zone operations;
• purchasing equipment for onshore operations;
• purchasing equipment for well logging;
• building a mooring line in Bautino;
• capacity building for data processing and interpretation through purchasing necessary hardware and software;
• building and equipping a laboratory for the newly built core storage.
On the whole, investments during 2002-2005 will amount to $31.5 million, including $26.7 million to be contributed by the National Company Kazmunaygaz. These investments are deemed critical for Kazakhstancaspishelf to retain its leading role in exploring new hydrocarbon reserves.
Kazakhstancaspishelf sees its future resting on close co-operation with foreign companies. Thus, joint operations with the Japanese JGI have been carried out on the Caspian and Aral shelves. Kazakhstancaspishelf has also been involved in seismic surveys in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. At present, the company is co-operating in the offshore Kashagan field with Western Geco and in the Uzen field with PGS and colleagues from Moscow, Ufa and Tyumen, providing services to Agip KCO. We look forward to fruitful interaction with the Uzbek party in seismic surveys on the Aral Sea. Negotiations concerning joint studies with other international companies are currently under way.
The experience of Kazakhstancaspishelf is an example of highly efficient international co-operation in the oil and gas sector.
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