BP Reports First Oil From ACE Platform Offshore Azerbaijan

The $6-billion Azeri Central East (ACE) platform is the first BP-operated offshore production facility controlled from onshore.

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The BP-operated Azeri Central East (ACE) production platform positioned on the Azeri oil field, which is part of Azerbaijan’s Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli field in the Caspian Sea.
Adil Yusifov

The new $6-billion BP-operated Azeri Central East (ACE) platform has produced first oil as Azerbaijan and its international partners enter a new stage in developing the nearly 30-year-old Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea.

The oil flow represents ACG’s first new production since the 2014 startup of the West Chirag platform. The new platform is situated on the Azeri field and is the first BP-operated offshore platform controlled from onshore, BP said in announcing the milestone event on 16 April.

ACE is the seventh production platform to be installed on ACG which has produced 4.3 billion bbl since its 1997 startup. BP also operates the Shah Deniz gas field and its two platforms that also lie in the Azeri sector of the Caspian.

Sanctioned in April 2019, ACE and related facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 B/D of oil which is then exported 130 km to Azerbaijan’s onshore Sangachal export terminal (where the platform’s onshore control room is also located) via a new in-field pipeline linked to the existing 30-in. ACG subsea export line, BP said.

Azeri Central East Startup Delivers on 2017 PSA Extension Agreement

The safe startup of ACE delivers on the first major investment decision made by the ACG partnership since the signing of the extended ACG production sharing agreement in 2017.

First production is coming from the first well that BP spudded from the new platform in December 2023 and drilled to a total depth of 3150 m. ACE production is expected to increase through 2024 to around 24,000 B/D as two more planned wells are drilled, completed, and brought online.

The project is expected to produce up to 300 million bbl over its lifetime, the company said. BP’s Senior Vice President, Projects, Ewan Drummond called ACE “a new benchmark for innovative engineering and competitive project delivery.”

Technical aspects include:

  • A 48-slot production, drilling, and quarters platform is located midway between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of 137 m.
  • A 16,000-ton platform jacket standing 153 m high, contains three production risers—one water injection, one oil export, and one gas export. It was built at the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory.
  • The 19,600-ton topsides unit was constructed at the Bayil fabrication yard near Baku.
  • A water-injection pipeline between the East Azeri and Azeri Central platforms supplies injection water from the Central Azeri compression and water-injection platform to the ACE facilities. In addition, ACE’s design allows gas- and water-injection into the reservoir to support other platforms.
  • The platform is also equipped with a fully automated state-of-the-art drilling rig.

“This successful startup is testament to the ongoing close collaboration between BP, SOCAR, and the Government of Azerbaijan, together with the support of our partners,” Gary Jones, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, said.
“This is the ninth world-class production platform that we have built, installed, and are operating offshore Azerbaijan,” Jones added. “ACE really stands out with its engineering creativity, advanced digital technology, and automation.”

ACG participating interests include BP (30.37%), Azerbaijan national oil company SOCAR (25.0%), MOL (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%), and ONGCVidesh (2.31%).