The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and Norway’s Equinor have confirmed their discovery of the Karabagh oil field offshore Azerbaijan, in the Caspian Sea.

The oil field is located 120km east of Baku in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The reserve is in the open sea, at water depths of 150m-200m. The field is close to the SOCAR-operated Shallow Water Gunashli field and the BP operated Azeri Chirag Gunashli field.

Equinor and SOCAR each own 50% of the Karabagh field. The estimated size of the discovery is large enough to pursue commercial development, according to SOCAR.

The Dada Gorgud semi-submersible drilling rig made the first appraisal well at the oil field. Spudding started on 23 December last year, drilling in water depths of 180m. The discovery reservoir is located 3.4km below the surface of the Caspian Sea.

SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev said: “Karabagh is the first oil field discovered during the independence period of our country and its oil reserves estimated more than 60 million tons.

“The successful delivery of the appraisal well to the target safely and on time is the result of effective collaboration of SOCAR and Equinor. Development of the Karabagh field will significantly contribute to Azerbaijan’s oil incomes. The field proudly bears the name of the heart of our Motherland – Karabagh.”

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SOCAR and Equinor have collaborated on several projects since 1994.

In May 2018, SOCAR and Equinor signed an agreement related to the appraisal and development of the Karabagh oil field.

Earlier this year, SOCAR and BP began drilling in the Shafag-Asiman block, offshore Caspian Sea in the Azerbaijan sector.