PARIS, July 2 (Reuters) - Azeri state energy company SOCAR and France's Total and GDF Suez confirmed on Monday the discovery of important gas reserves in Azerbaijan's deep waters of the Caspian Sea, Total said in a press release.
Production could start at the start of the next decade, a Total spokeswoman said.
"The well results indicate gas resources of 150 to 300 billion cubic metres (bcm)...of non-associated gas with condensates in the Balakhany and Fasila formations," Total said.
By comparison, France's 2011 gas consumption was just over 40 bcm.
"It is a confirmation of the importance of the discovery, announced in September 2011 on the Absheron X-2 well," Total SA said, adding it would prepare a development plan for the project which could last two and a half years.
The Absheron field is located around 100 kilometres south east of Baku and could be developed with a limited number of wells for a first phase of development.
In Azerbaijan, Total had an equity production of 13,900 barrels equivalent of oil per day in 2011 from the Shah Deniz field in which Total holds a 10 percent share. (Reporting By Muriel Boselli; Editing by Gus Trompiz)