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bp begins oil production from the new Azeri Central East platform

bp, as operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) project announced the start-up of oil production from the new Azeri Central East (ACE) platform as part of the ACG field development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.

The ACE platform is the seventh oil-producing platform installed on the giant ACG field in the Caspian Sea. ACG first began production in 1997 and has since produced over 4.3 billion barrels of oil. The bp-operated Shah Deniz gas field has two further platforms in the Caspian.

The ACE platform and related facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and the project is expected to produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime. Oil will pass through the processing facilities on the platform and then be exported around 130 kilometres to the onshore Sangachal terminal via a new in-field pipeline linked to an existing 30-inch subsea export line.

Initial production from ACE comes from the first well that was initiated from the platform at the end of last year. ACE production is expected to increase through 2024 to around 24,000 bpd as two more planned wells are drilled, completed and brought online.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team at bp for safely delivering the first bp-operated offshore platform fully controlled from onshore,” said Ewan Drummond, bp’s senior vice president, projects. “This establishes a new benchmark for innovative engineering and competitive project delivery for our company and the wider industry.”

“This is the ninth world-class production platform that we have built, installed and are operating offshore Azerbaijan,” commented Gary Jones, bp’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkiye. “ACE really stands out with its engineering creativity, advanced digital technology and automation.”

Indeed, the ACE platform is technologically and digitally the most advanced bp-operated platform in the world. Its innovative engineering allows automation of labour-intensive processes, enabling safer and more efficient operations. The platform has a state-of-the-art fully automated drilling rig. The use of modern technology and new processes also helps lower operational emissions.

“This successful start-up is a testament to the ongoing close collaboration between bp, SOCAR and the Government of Azerbaijan, together with the support of our partners,” added Mr Jones. “First oil from ACE – in the year of the thirtieth anniversary of the agreement to develop ACG – marks the beginning of this world-class field’s next development phase.”

ACG participating interests are: bp (30.37 per cent), SOCAR (25.0 per cent), MOL (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 ONGCVidesh (2.31 per cent).

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