Turkmenistan Steps Up Hydrocarbon Mapping

Turkmenistan has stepped mainland and offshore geophysical mapping of its territory to identify new blocks for oil and gas exploration.

Local experts and foreign specialists are mainly concentrating on the deposits at Korpeje, Gamishlija, Nebitlije, Ekerem, Shatut and Eastern Cheleken.

In 1999 Schlumberger entered into first such partnership with Balkanneftgeophysika and Turkmenneft. This arrangement is working successfully in the fields of western Turkmenistan. Schlumberger, with its wide experience and modern technology, is pointing the Turkmen specialists in the right direction, says ministry of oil and gas of Turkmenistan.

Better technological level has also helped identify more deposits in the Caspian sector of Turkmenistan. Assessment of hydrocarbon deposits has become more reliable because of three dimensional seismic mapping and scientific interpretation of data.

French company Sercel has provided state-of-the-art technology for geophysical mapping and sample collection. This gives better penetration to sediments and improves the reliability of results obtained from such data.

Computer processing, introduced since 2002, facilitates accuracy in analysis of research data.

Geophysical mapping began in Turkmenistan in 1934 in Nebetdag (now Balkanabat). A small team of 6 specialists embarked on the lonely job of hunting hydrocarbon resources. This resulted in identification of blocks 8, 16 and 57 in Nebetdatg. Boring results were highly successful.

The geophysical mapping has continued uninterruptedly for the last 70 years.

Results have been better than expectations. More than 30 major discoveries including Koturdepe, Barsa-Gelmez, Kumdag, Guijik, Beirdeshik, Tejen, Shatlyk, Bairalali, Maiskoya, Gugurtyl and others have been made since then.

The methods have progressed from manual to automation with the passage of time. Scanning and digitization of data is routinely used now to arrive at conclusions.

Turkmenistan has made necessary changes in the polytechnic syllabus to keep pace with the modern technology and to train young technicians to handle modern equipment competently.