KCA Awarded Contract in Azerbaijan

Abbot Group plc, the international energy services group, announces that its principal operating subsidiary KCA Drilling Limited has been awarded a contract by BP Exploration (Shah Deniz) Limited for the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) of a platform drilling facility for its Shah Deniz development in the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan.

The Shah Deniz development is a major gas condensate field located in the Azerbaijan sector of the South Caspian Sea approximately 62 miles south of Baku in water depths of 165 feet to 1640 feet. The current schedule for the project envisages a commencement of drilling operations around second quarter of 2004 with first production offshore in third quarter of 2004.

KCA's contract covers the initial Phase 1 FEED work, with the provision and stated preference of BP to extend the contract to cover Phases 2 and 3, being the detailed design, construction, commissioning of the drilling facilities, and offshore drilling operations respectively. Formal award of Phases 2 and 3 is dependent on a number of factors, including ultimately project sanction by BP and it's partners.

The current development scenario for this stage of the field development is focusing on the use of a self elevating drilling and production platform. A similar concept is already deployed on a BP field operating successfully in the North Sea. Under the contract KCA will be responsible for the design aspects of the platform drilling facility and will work closely with the platform Engineering Contractor and BP.

KCA's involvement on the Shah Deniz commenced in June 2000 with the award of a conceptual study contract. This main contract was subsequently competitively tendered and awarded to KCA.

KCA is already engaged in another major BP led Caspian project, being contracted for the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) on its ACG Phase 1 project, offshore Baku, to perform preliminary design, co-ordination of detailed design and construction and performance of offshore platform drilling operations.

KCA has had a presence in Azerbaijan since 1996 and established KCA Caspian Ltd offices independently in 1997. Over the last few years KCA has executed a number of engineering study projects for major oil companies related to Azerbaijan, Kazahkstan and Turkmenistan.


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