The Caspian's only analytical research centre

Nov 13, 2003 01:00 AM

by Rafiga Huseynzadeh

"Azerbaijan is the only country where such world-known giants as Corlab (US) and Reslav (Norway), which have equipment manufacturing plants and affiliated companies worldwide, do not come to work because a local company, AzLab, is a serious competitor here," Mrs Rafiga Huseynzadeh, General Manager of AzLab stated with pride.
Modern research and analytical centres that can precisely classify and even predict the result prospecting are becoming a necessity not only in Azerbaijan, but also along the Caspian shelves of other countries. The need for such facilities is due to the growth of interest in Azerbaijani oil, as well as other exploration activities in the Caspian.

AzLab was established for just this purpose in 1996 as a joint venture, and in 1999 grew into a closed joint stock company (AzLab CSC). In a short time, the company converted into a research and analytical centre and became an industry leader in Azerbaijan and beyond. AzLab's General Manager Mrs Rafiga Huseynzadeh says the company is engaged in complex laboratory analyses for the largest oil and gas producers in the Caspian region.
"The Company has been working in this market for more than 7 years and within this time we have managed to acquire a new highly technological laboratory, meeting all world standards of research quality and subsequent analyses of the initial material. The modern techniques and the method of doing business have attracted the attention of leading regional oil and gas producers," she noted.
To date, AzLab's clients include such leading companies as SOCAR, AIOC, BP, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Salyan Oil, Karasu, Dragon Oil (Turkmenistan), Partex (Kazakhstan), and Frontera Resources (Georgia).

Four bases of AzLab
The AzLab Laboratory includes the following structures:
-- PVT (Pressure, volume, temperature);
-- GeoChemical Analyses Laboratory;
-- Conventional Core Laboratory;
-- BioStratigrafical Laboratory.
The automated PVT Laboratory is of particular note. It previously operated in AzLab's laboratory using mercury, and failed to meet modern ecological requirements. The out-dated equipment was replaced with PVT, a new automated research facility valued at $ 700,000.

The originality and value of the laboratory equipment speaks for itself. Further strides have been made in AzLab's methodology and data processing systems, which directly affect the subsequent assessment of oil reserves, drawing of field development projects and accurate estimation of residual reserves. PVT-type laboratory facilities are being used only in leading countries of the world, for example, the United States, Canada, and now Azerbaijan.
Also, 100 % of Azlab's laboratory management and maintenance personnel are citizens of Azerbaijan. The equipment was installed by Canadian specialists who trained AzLab's experts to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the research complex. As a result, AzLab has become a Caspian centre of laboratory research in the oil and gas industry and is advancing steadily in introducing modern eco-technological innovations in the future. Reliable results today create brilliant opportunities and potential for future development.

This year AzLab plans to take part in a number of international tenders. The company has already purchased a good deal of ultra-precision equipment in the UK, the United States and Canada for this purpose. AzLab has submitted documents to obtain ISO 9001 certification and hopes that by the end of this year the company will hold a Quality Certificate of international standards, which will enable AzLab to considerably expand their analytical business at terminals and pipelines.
One of AzLab's basic services is analysis and storage of core samples. Any country involved in exploration and development of mineral resources regards core storage as a necessity. The value of the service lies in preserving resources to be spent for prospecting, developing and assessing both new and old wells. Therefore, for further development of their business in the Caspian, AzLab has extended the sphere of services they offer, and has built a core storage facility at their own expense ($ 500,000).

The facility can store up to 15,000 mm of core samples of oil and gas. The core storage area also has a 150-meter viewing room meeting international standards, in which to examine core samples. AzLab's aspirations have been justified, as the core storage facility is a "gold mine" for Azerbaijan and is of great national value. Core samples meeting archival requirements will not lose their uniqueness for many years and will be valuable for future generations of geologists.
The samples will provide experts with complete geological and geophysical information that will be useful for drilling of prospective oilfields. This will save millions of dollars for Azerbaijan in the exploration and development of oil fields. AzLab already receives core samples for studies from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The company has recently won a tender in Uzbekistan and is now waiting for the samples to arrive to begin study, classification and storage. AzLab is conducting negotiations with all potential clients in analyses of oil and gas for subsequent storage of the core samples from all contract areas. The company is confident that they can guarantee the highest level of storage quality.
The core storage was built by leading Canadian experts from the world-famous DATACON Company. All of the oil companies' requirements were met in construction of the core storage facility.

AzLab employees are highly qualified experts who have undergone training in various foreign research centres and petrochemical enterprises. The social welfare of AzLab personnel is guaranteed at the highest level, including excellent salaries, necessary insurance polices and leisure time. The company provides high living standards for employees.
Weekly classes on safety measures are provided, and all AzLab employees took part in workshops at BP Business Centre and received certificates in safety. AzLab, as mentioned above, is proud that all of its experts are local specialists. AzLab already holds the leading position in its sector of the oil and gas industry. The company's goal for the future is affirmation of its status in Azerbaijan and provision for continuation of AzLab's strong position in the Caspian region.

Mrs Rafiga Huseynzadeh Born in Baku in 1952, Rafiga Huseynzadeh graduated from the Oil Academy of Azerbaijan with a major in geological engineering. She completed a PhD in geological-mineralogical sciences in 1981.
Rafiga Huseynzadeh started her career as an engineer with the Oil Academy. She later became involved in teaching at Baku State University. She has written more than 40 research works and participated in a number of international conferences and trainings in the United States, The Netherlands, Norway and other countries. She has been heading Azlab since 1996.

Source: AzerNews
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