Lukoil to Begin Drilling at Tub-Karagan Soon

A pre-start meeting of the contractors for exploration drilling on the Tub-Karagan offshore block in Kazakhstan's sector of the Caspian Sea was held in the Caspian town of Aktau in western Republic of Kazakhstan.

The conference was attended by managers of contractor companies, as well as LUKOIL Overseas and KazMunaiTeniz, parent companies of the operator, Tub-Karagan Operating Company B.V., owned by them on a 50/50 basis.

The main purpose of the first exploration well is to study the geological profile, discover hydrocarbon deposits and evaluate their commercial productivity. The design total depth of the vertical well will be 2,500 meters, with water depth of 7 meters at the drilling site. Drilling will be performed on zero-discharge basis, with all industrial waste recycled.

During the course of the conference it was noted that the drilling contractor, LUKOIL-Shelf (Astrakhan), successfully towed the Astra from Turkmenistan's sector of the Caspian Sea to the area of operations within the set deadlines and completed positioning operations. The services contractor, Petroalliance, is on course to meet its commitments regarding delivery of well testing equipment.

Participants of the conference confirmed April 30, 2005 as the possible spud date. Duration of drilling will be 106 days.

The area of the Tub-Karagan block is more than 1,3 thousand square kilometers. Projected in-place reserves are 324 million tons of oil, project peak production is 7 million tons per year and cumulative production will reach 110 million tons of oil.

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