Onshore/Offshore Facilities

BP Makes Massive Move in 100,000 B/D Caspian Project

The Caspian Sea's newest platform is equipped with automation technology and will be controlled remotely from an onshore station.

The Azeri-Chirag Deepwater Gunashli topsides unit preparing for sailaway operations earlier this month.
Source: BP.

BP’s nearly 20,000-ton topsides unit has departed its fabrication yard in Baku and is to be installed by week’s end about 62 miles offshore in the Caspian Sea.

Construction of the $6-billion Azeri Central East (ACE) project began in 2019, and BP is planning on achieving first oil from the facility early next year. The London-based supermajor said the ACE facility was designed to produce up to 100,000 B/D and that it expects more than 300 million bbl to flow out of the unit over the project’s lifetime.

Over the next few days, the ACE platform will be transferred from a barge to a platform jacket—itself weighing in at 16,000 tons—that was installed in March at a depth of almost 450 ft. BP said it will require a few more months to complete hookup and commissioning operations before the first well is drilled from the platform’s integrated drilling rig.

The unit features 48 drilling slots for production wells. Additionally, it will be connected to an existing water pipeline to support injection wells.

BP described its latest megaproject as “an amazing feat of innovative engineering” and said that the facility will benefit from a host of process automation and digital technologies. And in what is a first for BP's Caspian projects, the facility will be remotely operated from an onshore control room at the Sangachal oil and gas terminal near Baku.

The ACE platform will be located about halfway between the Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms. These platforms, in the first half of this year, boasted a combined production of 121,000 B/D.

Like its sister facilities, the new ACE platform will target the Caspian’s Azeri-Chirag Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oilfield complex which was discovered offshore Azerbaijan in the 1980s.

BP holds a 30.37% operator interest share in the ACG production agreement. This agreement, originally signed in 1994, was extended in 2017 to last until 2049. Partners include Socar/AzACG (25%), Chevron (9.57%), Inpex (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), Itochu (3.65%), and ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) (2.31%).