BP and partners have sanctioned the Azeri Central East 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 $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.
The move is the first major investment decision by the ACG partnership since the extension of the ACG production sharing agreement to 2049 was agreed in 2017. More than $36 billion has been invested into the development of the ACG area since 1994.
ACG currently has eight offshore platforms – six production platforms and two process, gas compression, water injection and utilities platforms. The platforms export oil and gas to the Sangachal Terminal, one of the world’s largest oil and gas terminals, onshore near Baku. In 2018, total production from ACG averaged 584,000 barrels per day, of which Equinor has an equity production of approximately 43,000 barrels per day.
The Azeri Central East project is centered 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 meters. The project will also include new infield pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal Terminal.
Construction activities, which will commence this year and run through mid-2022, will take place in-country utilizing local resources. It is expected that, at peak, construction activities will create up to 8,000 jobs.
BP has a 30.37 percent stake in and operates the ACG. Partners include SOCAR/AzACG (25 percent), Chevron (9.57 percent), Inpex (9.31 percent), Equinor (7.27 percent), ExxonMobil (6.79 percent), TPAO (5.73 percent), ITOCHU (3.65 percent) and ONGC Videsh Limited (2.31 percent).