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Chirag 25 years old

Release date:
7 November 2022


Today marks the 25th anniversary of First Oil production from the Chirag platform - the first platform to commence production from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG). According to the decree signed by the late President and National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev on 27 October 1997, the official celebration of this important milestone took place on 12 November 1997.

The commencement of production under the country’s first ever Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the joint development of the ACG fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea was a historical date which marked the beginning of the implementation of the country’s independent oil strategy. The start-up of ACG’s production from the Chirag platform, which was built by SOCAR before the PSA was signed, was quite symbolic in itself. It also highlighted the fact that the reliable partnership and favourable cooperation are the two key factors behind all the ACG successes.

To date, the Chirag platform has produced a total of about 766 million barrels (103 million tonnes) of oil, which makes about a fifth of ACG's total production. The platform was originally intended to operate only seven years. However, thanks to the excellent performance, high-quality professional knowledge, technological skills and commitment of the platform team, Chirag still continues to operate to the highest international safety, operational efficiency and reliability standards along with the other new ACG platforms, and will continue to deliver for many years to come.

bp, as operator of ACG, has since built five additional production platforms and continues to operate them safely and reliably. To date, these platforms have produced more than 3.4 billion barrels or about 460 million tonnes (with Chirag included 4,2 billion barels or 562 million tonnes) of oil in total benefiting firstly the people of Azerbaijan and ACG co-venturers, as well as the wider region.


Elkhan Mammadov, bp's vice president production, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye region said: 


“The day First Oil was produced from the Chirag platform in November 1997 is symbolic as it marks the start of Azerbaijan's new oil strategy. Production from ACG started from this platform, which was the only source of production and export from the field until the larger and more modern platforms became online in 2005. Today, Chirag continues to deliver as one of ACG’s six production platforms, and will remain as such for a long time. We are proud that all 60 bp employees currently working on the 25-year-old Chirag are world-class national specialists, and that both rotating managers of the platform are Azerbaijani nationals.”


The oil produced from ACG is mainly exported to world markets via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

The BTC pipeline is a complex engineering project designed as an export route to link Azerbaijan directly with world markets. Since the start, BTC has been operating safely, reliably and with minimum risk to the environment bringing significant additional benefits to Azerbaijan and the region as a whole. As a strategic facility, this pipeline also serves to strengthen economic and political links between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Türkiye and the West.

To date, about 3.9 billion barrels of crude oil have been transported through the BTC pipeline from Azerbaijan, loaded on 5,163 tankers and sent to world markets.


Notes to editors


bp has been present in Azerbaijan for 30 years safely, efficiently and reliably operating major oil and gas exploration, development and transportation projects. To date, together with its co-venturers, bp has invested around $84 billion into projects it operates in the country. In Azerbaijan, we are committed to supporting sustainability efforts focusing on the areas where we believe we can make the most difference.


Our extensive social investment activities and capacity-building efforts in the country have had a positive impact and brought tangible benefits to people, improving their lives and making a difference.


Our social investments cover such areas as building local capabilities, education, development of communities, local enterprises, the environment, sporting potential as well as research and promotion of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Overall, since the start, bp itself and together with its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan, has spent around $103 million on social investment projects in this country.


In Azerbaijan, bp directly employs around 2,296 Azerbaijani citizens who make over 90 per cent of the company’s professional staff.


For more information about bp and its co-venturers’ social investment projects please visit the bp Azerbaijan site at www.bp.com/azerbaijan


Further information


Tamam Bayatly at bp’s press office in Baku. 

Telephone: (+994 12) 525 58 95