Exxon Mobil to Plug Azeri Field After Failing to Find Commercial Reserves

BAKU (AFX UK)–Exxon Mobil Corp is to abandon its Nakhchivan-1 exploratory oil well in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea after failing to find commercial reserves–a company spokeswoman’said.

The announcement deals a further blow to oil hopes in the Azeri sector–following a series of disappointing results from exploratory drilling on other prospective fields.

"We have reached a total depth of 22,136 feet–a record for Caspian drilling–and the well will now be plugged and abandoned," said the Exxon Mobil spokeswoman.

No decision had yet been taken on whether to drill further exploratory wells on the Nakhchivan structure.

"At the moment we have to study the results of the first well–which will take several months," she said.

The well was the first to be drilled on the Nakhchivan structure. It was lowered in the August of last year and was lowered twice again beyond its total planned depth after failing to find significant oil.

Exxon Mobil is the operator of the Nakhchivan consortium and holds a 50-pct stake. The rest of the equity is owned by Azeri state oil company SOCAR.


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