BP and partners have taken a final investment decision on the Azeri Central East (ACE) project, the next stage of development of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oilfield complex in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
The US$6 billion development includes a new offshore platform and facilities designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to achieve first production in 2023 and produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime. Construction activities will commence this year and run through mid-2022.
Gary Jones, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, added: “Today’s announcement supports the long-term production plans we set for ACG when we extended the PSA. It demonstrates our commitment to work with SOCAR and Azerbaijan’s government to continue to unlock ACG’s resources more efficiently and competitively.”
Rovnaq Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, said: “Looking forward, we expect more than three billion barrels of additional oil production from ACG. This strategic decision supports Azerbaijan’s increasing role as an energy supplier for the regional and global markets.”
Robert Morris, senior analyst, Caspian upstream, Wood Mackenzie said: “Production at Azerbaijan's oil elephant may have peaked back in 2010, but with 3 billion barrels yet to be produced it is just halfway through its long life. The operator's core objective is managing that long decline to maximise recovery and remaining value. ACE is central to those plans, adding 100,000 barrels per day of production at peak in the mid-2020s.”
The Azeri Central East (ACE) project is centred on a new 48-slot production, drilling and quarters platform located mid-way between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of approximately 140 metres. The project will also include new infield pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal Terminal.
BP has a 30.37 per cent stake in and operates the ACG PSA. Partners include SOCAR/AzACG (25 per cent), Chevron (9.57 per cent), INPEX (9.31 per cent), Equinor (7.27 per cent), ExxonMobil (6.79 per cent), TPAO (5.73 per cent), ITOCHU (3.65 per cent) and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) (2.31 per cent).