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Third quarter 2021 results

Release date:
4 November 2021

ACG participating interests are: bp (30.37%), SOCAR (25.0%), MOL (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%), ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) (2.31%).


BP Exploration (Caspian Sea) Limited is the operator on behalf of the Contractor Parties to the ACG Production Sharing Agreement.


In the first three quarters of 2021, we spent more than $398 million in operating expenditure and about $1,243 million in capital expenditure on ACG activities.


During the third quarter of the year, the Azeri Central East (ACE) project progressed according to the plan along with the other bp-operated activities. 


Most of the remaining major equipment was delivered to Baku during the quarter. The delivery of the final four packages is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021 and will complete the shipment of all equipment as part of the project.

Fabrication activities on the topsides and drilling facilities continued at the fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat. This included progressing the pipe erection and hydrotesting, cable pulling and installation of the final topsides weather deck panel and lower derrick. All living quarters modules were successfully installed on the topsides followed by the commencement of integration and internal hook-up. Drilling mechanical completion handovers progressed as planned, the drilling commissioning at grade commenced in the main drilling support and drilling equipment set modules.

At the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets factory (BDJF), the jacket fabrication continued with the centre box skidding completed and assembly of the jacket towers commenced.

Subsea fabrication of the structures and spools is close to completion. Subsea installation commenced with the subsea construction vessel Khankendi installing all subsea crossing mattresses.

The project also progressed the offshore installation works associated with the spare power scope on the East Azeri platform, with the gas insulated switchgear (GIS) module installed offshore.

At the end of the third quarter, the ACE project reached the 60% progress milestone. The project construction activities are currently at peak and involve about 5,500 people across Baku, Europe and the UK, with the majority being Azerbaijani nationals.

Overall, the engineering, procurement and fabrication works remain on track to support first production from the ACE project in 2023.



During the third quarter, ACG continued to safely and reliably deliver stable production. Total ACG production for the first three quarters was on average about 461,000 barrels per day (b/d) (about 126 million barrels or 17 million tonnes in total) from the Chirag (29,000 b/d), Central Azeri (109,000 b/d), West Azeri (115,000 b/d), East Azeri (77,000 b/d), Deepwater Gunashli (87,000 b/d) and West Chirag (44,000 b/d) platforms.

On 18 September 2021, the ACG field reached 4 billion barrels of total oil production since start.

As part of the ACG annual work programme, two planned maintenance programmes (turnaround - TAR) were successfully implemented on the ACG platforms this year – on West Azeri in the second quarter and on Chirag in the third quarter.

At the end of the quarter, 136 oil wells were producing, while 30 were used for water and eight for gas injection.

Drilling and completion

During the first three quarters of 2021, ACG completed seven oil producer and three injector wells.  

Associated gas

During the three quarters, ACG delivered an average of 8 million cubic metres per day of ACG associated gas to SOCAR (2.2 billion cubic metres in total), primarily at the Sangachal terminal but also to SOCAR’s Oil Rocks facility. The remainder of the associated gas produced was re-injected for reservoir pressure maintenance.

In the third quarter of 2021, oil and gas from ACG and Shah Deniz continued to flow via subsea pipelines to the Sangachal terminal.

The daily capacity of the terminal’s processing systems is currently 1.2 million barrels of crude oil and condensate, and about 81 million standard cubic metres of Shah Deniz gas, while overall processing and export capacity for gas, including ACG associated gas is around 100 million standard cubic metres per day.

During the first three quarters, the Sangachal terminal exported about 172 million barrels of oil and condensate. This included about 148 million barrels through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and around 24 million barrels through the Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP).

Gas is exported via the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), the SCP expansion system and via SOCAR gas pipelines connecting the terminal’s gas processing facilities with Azerigas’s national grid system.

On average, around 58 million standard cubic metres (about 2,063 million standard cubic feet) of Shah Deniz gas was exported from the terminal daily in the three quarters of 2021.

The BTC Co. shareholders are: bp (30.1%); AzBTC (25.00%); MOL (8.90%); Equinor (8.71%); TPAO (6.53%); Eni (5.00%); Total (5.00%), ITOCHU (3.40%); INPEX (2.50%), ExxonMobil (2.50%) and ONGC (BTC) Limited (2.36%).

In the first three quarters of 2021, BTC spent more than $96 million in operating expenditure and more than $22 million in capital expenditure.

Since the 1,768 km BTC pipeline became operational in June 2006 till the end of the third quarter of 2021, it carried a total of 3.71 billion barrels (more than 495 million tonnes) of crude oil loaded on 4,863 tankers and sent to world markets.


In the first three quarters, around 148 million barrels (about 19.6 million tonnes) BTC-exported crude oil was lifted at Ceyhan loaded on 204 tankers.

The BTC pipeline currently carries mainly ACG crude oil and Shah Deniz condensate from Azerbaijan. In addition, other volumes of crude oil and condensate continue to be transported via BTC, including volumes from Turkmenistan, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Shah Deniz participating interests are: bp (operator – 28.8%), TPAO (19.0%), PETRONAS (15.5%), AzSD (10.0%), LUKOIL (10.0%), NICO (10.0%) and SGC Upstream (6.7%). 

In the first three quarters of 2021, Shah Deniz spent $1.57 billion in operating expenditure and around $524 million in capital expenditure, the majority of which was associated with the Shah Deniz 2 project.

This year, Shah Deniz celebrates its 25th anniversary since the signing of the Shah Deniz Production Sharing Agreement (PSA). The PSA was signed on 4 June 1996 between SOCAR and a consortium of foreign companies. It was ratified by the Milli Majlis and became effective on 17 October the same year. The project is the second after ACG largest foreign direct investment made in Azerbaijan and as such it has further strengthened the country’s economy. The Shah Deniz 25th anniversary marks an important milestone in the new history of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry.


During the third quarter, the Shah Deniz field continued to provide deliveries of gas to markets in Azerbaijan (to Azerkontrakt), Georgia (to GOGC), Turkey (to BOTAS), to the BTC Company in multiple locations and to buyers in Europe.

In the first nine months of the year, the field produced around 16 billion standard cubic metres (bcm) of gas and around 3 million tonnes (around 24 million barrels) of condensate in total from the Shah Deniz Alpha and Shah Deniz Bravo platforms.

The existing Shah Deniz facilities’ production capacity is currently about 70 million standard cubic metres of gas per day or more than 25 bcma.

In the third quarter of 2021, the Shah Deniz 2 project reached full production rates from the East South flank following its safe start-up in the second quarter of the year. As a result of the production ramp-up from the East South flank, in July 2021, the daily production rates of the Shah Deniz Bravo platform reached the Shah Deniz Alpha rates for the first time.

On the West South flank, the pipelay barge Israfil Huseynov completed the subsea pipeline construction activities in the third quarter. The scope was delivered ahead of schedule with the barge achieving its best ever performance and highest productivity. This has allowed to commence subsea pipelaying activities on the East North flank in 2021, originally planned for the second quarter of 2022.

Overall, all West South subsea installation activities are progressing on schedule for the production start-up planned for the middle of 2022.

In the third quarter, the project also continued preparation activities for the production start-up from the final 5th well on the North Flank planned for the fourth quarter of 2021.



During the third quarter of 2021, the Shah Deniz Alpha platform rig was on warm stack.

The Istiglal and Maersk Explorer rigs have already drilled 21 wells in total and completed 19 out of those for Shah Deniz 2 production and subsequent ramp-up. The completed wells include five wells on the North Flank, four wells on the West Flank, four wells on the East South Flank, four wells on the West South Flank and two wells on the East North flank. One well on the West South flank and one well on the East North flank were drilled to final depth and suspended.

The SCP Co. shareholders are: bp (28.8%), TPAO (19.0%), PETRONAS (15.5%), AzSCP (10.0%), NICO (10.0%), LUKOIL (10.0%) and SGC Midstream (6.7%). 

In the first three quarters of 2021, SCP spent around $39 million in operating expenditure and around $8 million in capital expenditure in total.

 The SCP has been operational since late 2006, transporting Shah Deniz gas to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The expanded section of the pipeline commenced commercial deliveries to Turkey in June 2018 and to Europe in December 2020.

During the three quarters, the daily average throughput of SCP was 46.8 million cubic metres of gas per day.

On 1 August 2021 the transition of the technical operatorship of the South Caucasus Pipeline Company (SCPC) from BP Exploration (Shah Deniz) Limited to SOCAR Midstream Operations LLC was finalized. The transition process which started in March 2020 was successfully completed in July 2021. Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19 bp and SOCAR worked in close collaboration to effectively implement all the aspects of the process.

The transfer of technical operatorship was carried out in fulfilment of the obligations undertook in the revised SCPC Pipeline Owners’ Agreement, signed in December 2013 as part of the Final Investment Decision on the Shah Deniz Stage 2 and South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion (SCPX) projects.

On the Shafag-Asiman offshore block, the drilling of the first exploration well was completed in March 2021 to the base of the Fasila reservoir to a depth of 7,189 metres. Post-well analysis of the data received during the drilling is currently ongoing. This analysis is required in order to evaluate the hydrocarbon discovery and plan the next stage of exploration activities.

In the Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula (SWAP) area, the first exploration well was spudded in the North Khali prospective area on 16 August 2021. Drilling activities are currently ongoing at the depth of around 2,300 metres. Once the well reaches the target depth, the well data will be analysed and, if successful, an evaluation programme may be conducted to confirm the results. The draft Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (ESIA) document for the second SWAP exploration well was submitted to the government and disclosed to the public on 1 July 2021 and we are now in discussions with the government to obtain necessary permissions to start drilling the well in the fourth quarter of 2021.


On D230, the interpretation of the seismic data is currently ongoing. If the results from the interpretation of the seismic survey are positive, bp will consider further exploration activities.

At the end of the third quarter of 2021, the number of bp’s Azerbaijani national employees was 2,287 including fixed-term employees.

Since mid-2018, 90% of bp Azerbaijan’s professional staff has been nationals. Non-professional staff of bp in Azerbaijan is 100% nationalized.

bp will continue its efforts to optimize its learning and development programmes and will actively participate in public and private sector initiatives contributing to the development of the local talent market.

The success of projects in the Caspian region depends, in part, on the operators’ ability to create tangible benefits from these projects for the people of the region. To achieve this, bp and the co-venturers continue to implement major social investment projects, which include educational programmes, building skills and capabilities in local communities, improving access to social infrastructure in communities, supporting local enterprises through provision of access to finance and training, support for cultural legacy and sport, as well as technical assistance to public institutions.

In the first three quarters of 2021, bp and the co-venturers in bp-operated joint ventures spent about $1.1 million in Azerbaijan on social investment projects.

bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that it operates) will continue their social investment initiatives in support of local capacity-building and enterprise development throughout Azerbaijan to assist the country in strengthening its economy. 

Some examples of such projects in Azerbaijan are:

  • The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) initiated by bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that it operates). This is a multi-million-dollar initiative in support of local business development. The programme is part of the efforts to increase local content of contracts in Azerbaijan and contribute to the healthy and transparent development of the local economy. In the third quarter of 2021, the programme continued its activities in support of capacity development of local organizations. This included the preparation of capability development plans for a total of 23 vocational education and training centres operating under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Azerbaijan.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) has been supporting for five years a large group of 11th grade students in their efforts to prepare for higher education. The participants in the project called ‘Build your Future’ are selected from disadvantaged families. The project activities include two components – academic knowledge and social integration. In total, some 334 young people out of 389 participants in the past five academic years (86%) have been successful by meeting the requirements of the higher school entrance exams and becoming students. This year, out of 74 project participants who received tutorial classes, 52 participants were admitted to the local universities. Based on the results and overall success of this initiative, bp and its co-venturers decided to continue the project into the 2021-2022 academic year. 
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting the transfer of international business education expertise to the country through bringing the internationally recognized Adaptive Strategic Execution Programme to Azerbaijan, basing it at Baku’s ADA University. The training programme of the project is certified by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (USA) and is based on a world-class business education curriculum developed by Duke Corporate Education, a leader in providing executive education globally. The project is designed to help meet the current market demand in executive education. Overall, six streams are planned for the duration of the project covering a total of up to 108 students. Of these, two streams with a total of 44 participants were completed in May 2020. The training sessions for the next two streams with a total of 39 participants commenced in October 2021.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a three-year educational project to strengthen data analytics research and training capacity in Azerbaijan. This will be achieved through establishing a competitive and sustainable dual Master of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSCS/DA) degree programme, as well as further developing the Centre for Data Analytics Research at ADA University. A total of 20 students, who were selected for the first cohort, completed the spring semester at ADA University and left for the US to continue their studies at the George Washington University. The admission process for the second cohort is currently ongoing with 13 students selected so far.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that it operates) launched a new social investment initiative aiming to support remote learning in Azerbaijan. The project is expected to benefit up to 10,000 school children aged 13 to 17 through developing the extra-curricular educational content in career planning, financial literacy and entrepreneurship and delivering it via public TV channels and digital platforms.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a social project to help local professionals who treat children with disabilities and developmental delays. The project builds on the partnership with the US-based Georgetown University to provide training for local professionals aiming to enhance the in-country network of child development services. To date, over 100 local specialists and psychology and social science students were provided with a series of webinars on child health, education and social development as part of the project.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) successfully completed a project aimed to empower school students to make thoughtful decisions in their career choice. A total of 508 school students from 124 schools attended the `career guidance` tests and were provided with the consultations on test results and soft skills trainings to improve communication skills and analytical thinking. The project also surveyed more than 1,000 school and university students, as well as over 600 parents aiming to develop a research paper about career path choice of school students and the factors affecting it.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting the ABB Tech Academy initiative by sponsoring the training of 200 Azerbaijani citizens jointly with ABB. The project aims to train the new generation of digital workforce for the country and is part of bp and its co-venturers’ commitment to help enhance overall capacity-building in Azerbaijan. A total of 30 people whose tuition fees were funded by bp and its coventurers, completed the programme and 20 new participants have recently enrolled to it. 
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a social investment project aiming to improve English language skills of English teachers and students of the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University. In total, over 3,000 students and teachers at the university will benefit from this programme. A total of 74 teachers completed the language trainings in June-September 2021.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a new social project to support youth entrepreneurship in rural areas through application of a youth business incubation model for 30 selected young people from the Samukh, Goranboy and Shamkir districts. The project includes provision of training and equipment for the project beneficiaries to help them start their own businesses. The project participants completed the trainings and are currently developing the business plans to start their businesses.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a project aiming to empower local autism specialists by enabling them to access international best practices. The project includes support for the development of 60 local specialists using internationally approved training programmes, translation of internationally available learning and teaching materials, as well as public outreach activities. In addition, the project supports a group of autistic persons with preparation of individual self-development and business plans to help enhance their employment opportunities. A total of 10 local autism experts completed the first training module as part of the project. 
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a new social investment project aiming to provide the schools in the neighbouring communities with a safe heating system which relies on alternative and environmentally friendly energy sources. 
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a social investment project to enhance financial acumen of the local workforce through provision of training and internship services in Baku and Ganja. A total of 60 project participants (30 from Baku and 30 from Ganja) will receive training in finance, accounting and taxation followed by an internship opportunity to gain practical experience. The project will also include a career fair with employers from public and private enterprises.
  • bp (on behalf of the co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a two-year environmental project aiming to offset carbon emissions through preventing soil erosion and desertification. As part of the project, 250,000 new trees will be planted and maintenance support will be provided for 110,000 already planted trees in the Shamkir and Samukh districts. In addition, an innovative tree planting system with water-preserving equipment and layer planting technique will be implemented on 1 hectare of the selected territory in the Gobustan district.

In addition, in the first three quarters of the year, bp alone spent more than $0.9 million on various social and sponsorship projects in Azerbaijan. These projects included:

  • Translation from English into Azerbaijani and publication of 14 academic textbooks on startup and innovation, corporate finance, marketing, social research, international relations, economic policy, managerial economics, statistics for business and economics, econometrics, psychology and information security.  This project aims to support quality of teaching in 16 specialties taught in over 15 local universities. 
  • Support for the establishment of a digital library at the Azerbaijan Pedagogical University to enable students and teachers to access sizeable knowledge and share content with others. 
  • Support for the establishment of the electronics and electrical engineering as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy laboratories at the University of Architecture and Construction aiming to enhance research and teaching capability of the University.
  • Establishment of a printing and publishing centre at the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University to satisfy the publishing needs of over 10,000 students and teaching staff of the University.
  • Support for the development and publication of a book dedicated to the research and popularization of the articles of well-known Azerbaijani intellectuals about Nizami Ganjavi – one of Azerbaijan’s and the world’s prominent literary names. 
  • bp’s ongoing support for the development of sport through the partnership with Azerbaijan’s National Olympic (NOC) and Paralympic Committees (NPC). This included bp’s support to a group of national athletes selected as bp’s ambassador athletes at Tokyo 2020 Games. This year, bp celebrates the 10 years anniversary of its partnership with NOC and NPC.
  • Sponsorship of the ‘Greentech Summer Camp 2021’ held in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan. This two-day workshop brought together local and international specialists, representatives of a number of the state institutions and students from local universities to discuss and promote an exchange of knowledge and experience on the issues such as use of offshore wind energy, different routes of hydrogen production and renewable energy in Azerbaijan.  
  • Support to the Baku Summer Energy School – a widely recognized and certified annual programme of the Caspian Center for Energy and Environment (CCEE) of ADA University. The programme brought together about 40 participants from Azerbaijan and other countries to examine and gain a better understanding of global and Caspian energy and environment issues, regional pipeline and energy security developments, fundamentals of energy, energy law and economics. 
  • Sponsorship of the ‘Enactus Azerbaijan National Competition 2021’ aimed to promote entrepreneurship by developing business skills in students.
  • Support to the ‘Advanced Regional Energy Security Symposium 2021 – Caucasus’ hosted by the Center of Excellence in EU Studies of ADA University. The symposium aims to promote regional energy security by increasing awareness and exchanging information on best practices.
  • Sponsorship of a new social investment project to help local startup community access expertise and funding opportunities available in Europe. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan and with the Hungarian government agency responsible for export promotion (HEPA). The project will train up to 20 local startups to enter the European market providing them with the frameworks to scale up to European countries with the focus on Hungary, Germany and the UK.

Further information: 

Tamam Bayatly at bp’s press office in Baku. 
Telephone: (+994 12) 525 58 95