The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) operated by BP, today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) production sharing agreement, signed on 20 September 1994 between Azerbaijan and eleven international companies.
From the start, activity level on ACG has remained high. The Early Oil Project which was sanctioned in February 1996 and delivered First Oil from the Chirag field on 7 November 1997. Since that time approximately 2.5 billion barrels (over 340 million tonnes) of oil has been produced from ACG and exported to world markets. The daily average production rate at ACG is now about 660,000 barrels per day.
As part of the event, a ceremony was held at the Sangachal Terminal near Baku to mark the groundbreaking for the Southern Gas Corridor.
The President of Azerbaijan, the President of Bulgaria, the Prime Ministers of Turkey, Georgia, Greece and Montenegro along with senior government officials from Italy, Albania, Croatia, the US and the UK put their signatures on the first piece of pipe for the Southern Gas Corridor which was buried at the terminal to mark the commencement of the project.
This is a milestone in the realisation of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project which will deliver 16 billion cubic metres per year (bcma) of gas from the giant Shah Deniz field through some 3,500 kilometres of pipeline to Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Italy. First gas is targeted for late 2018, with sales to Georgia and Turkey; first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately a year later.
Speaking on behalf of all partners, Bob Dudley, BP’s Group Chief Executive, said: “This is a great day for Azerbaijan and a great day for energy. What has been achieved here since 1994 is extraordinary. And for that I want to pay tribute to President Aliyev, his government and SOCAR. Together we have showed what partnership can deliver.”
“One reason for the success of this partnership is the strategic importance of energy from Azerbaijan. The world’s markets are thirsty for energy supplies and we have opened up a whole new route from a land-locked sea that is rich in natural resources. To date, over two billion barrels of oil have been carried through the BTC pipeline,” Dudley added.
“And today we are not only looking back to celebrate the last two decades, but looking ahead to the next chapter in Azerbaijan’s energy story as we start the building of the southern corridor to carry gas from the Caspian’s giant Shah Deniz field to Georgia, Turkey, Greece , Bulgaria, Albania and ultimately, Italy,” Dudley said.