Wed 11 2015 10:02:21

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- Consortium Aral Sea Operating Comp (Aral Sea), conducting geologic exploration of the Uzbek sector of Aral Sea, started exploratory drilling in eastern part of the licensed area, the representative of the company said.

The consortium of investors began drilling of exploratory wells at Meros structure at Aral Sea, which was revealed at the result of 3D seismic exploration, the source told Sputnik agency.

China’s XIBU Drilling Engineering Company is drilling wells. In line with the technical tasks, the project depth of the wells will make up 3,280 meters. It is also planned to drill two dependent appraisal wells in 2016.

The PSA for the Uzbekistan part of Aral Sea between Republic of Uzbekistan and Consortium of Investors was signed on 30 August 2006.

Investors for PSA and founders of Aral Sea Operating Company are Uzbekneftegaz, Petronas Carigali SDN BHD (Malaysia), LUKOIL Overseas Aral Ltd. (Russia), KNOC Aral Ltd. (Korea) and CNPC International Ltd. (China).

In May 2011, Petronas left the consortium. KNOC also left the project in September 2013. Uzbekneftegaz holds 33.4% stake in the consortium, CNPC and LUKOIL own 33.3% each. According to agreement terms, minimal share of Uzbekistan in the agreement will be 50% in the first stage.

In 2011, the consortium fully completed the programme of exploration works with the cost of US$110.2 million within the PSA.

In the result, new hydrocarbons fields Zapadniy Aral and six perspective structures were revealed. Currently, over 3,000 km of 2D seismic works and 780 square km f 3D seismic works were conducted and five search-exploration wells were drilled. In 2014-2016, the consortium will additionally invest to exploration works for US$30 million.


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