Dragon Oil to start exploration drilling at Block 19 offshore Turkmenistan in 2024

Dragon Oil of the UAE plans to start exploration drilling at Block 19 in Turkmenistan's sector of the Caspian Sea in 2024, the company's CEO, Ali Rashid Al-Jarwan, said.

Footage of Al-Jarwan commenting on a meeting between the management of the Turkmennebit state oil concern and a Dragon Oil delegation was posted on the International Information Center of Turkmenistan's website.

"Our company's management board maintains close cooperation with Turkmennebit. We value the constant support that we receive from the state concern. It is envisaged that we will be exploring Block 19. Previously, it was covered by 3D seismic survey according to a joint plan. It was carried out successfully, and today we discussed the results "Al-Jarwan said.

The parties are now progressing from 3D seismic to geological exploration. "So this year we will start drilling, first and foremost. We have a good plan ready, and a new chapter of exploration awaits us at Block 19," he said.

The meeting also discussed the possibilities for stepping up interaction in light of the expertise gained from joint work and Turkmenistan's plans for the further development of the fuel and energy complex.

Given the growing demand in the global energy market, the parties mentioned that there were good prospects for deepening their partnership. In this regard, Turkmenistan expressed a readiness to consider projects to develop cooperation with Dragon Oil.

Dragon Oil, wholly owned by the Government of Dubai, opened its largest overseas regional office in Ashgabat in December 2023.

Dragon Oil Company and Turkmennebit signed a memorandum of understanding in January, according to which Dragon Oil will add three new oil fields in Block 19 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea to its assets in Turkmenistan. The memorandum provides for increased investments by Dragon Oil in Block 19.

Saeed Mohammed Ahmad Al Tayer, chairman of the board of directors of Dragon Oil, said at the time that seismic surveying costing $35 million at Block 19 had confirmed its prospects. The block includes three new fields close to the Cheleken field.

Al Tayer said the next stage after signing the memorandum would be to drill two or three wells, and the third stage would involve production.

A production sharing agreement between Turkmenistan's government and Dragon Oil (Turkmenistan) Ltd gave Dragon Oil a 25-year license to explore and produce oil and gas at Cheleken in 2000. It has exclusive rights to negotiate a license extension of at least 10 years.

The Cheleken contract area includes the Dzheitune and Dzhygalybeg fields with 2P reserves of 675 million barrels.

Dragon Oil (Turkmenistan) Ltd increased average daily oil production at the offshore block to 10,000 tonnes or 35,000 barrels by the middle of 2017.

Turkmennebit and Dragon Oil (Turkmenistan) Ltd signed a contract in July 2022 to extend the PSA until May 1, 2035. The company's main goal is to increase oil production from the Cheleken contract area. Dragon Oil had invested $8.1 billion in drilling and equipping the field, producing a cumulative 437 million barrels of oil by the middle of 2022.

Dragon Oil's investments during the contract extension period will amount to another $7-8 billion. It is also expected that an additional 350 million barrels of crude oil will be produced at a daily rate of 60,000-70,000 barrels.