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Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council 10th Ministerial Meeting: Speech by bp’s vice president gas and low carbon energy growth

1 March 2024

Katerina Papalexandri, bp’s vice president gas and low carbon energy growth

'Shah Deniz – delivering reliable energy'




Dear co-chairs, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!

I’m delighted to join you all today.

Since its kick-off in 2015, the importance of this forum has only been growing.

Just like the role of SGC and Shah Deniz in today’s energy landscape.

And here is why.


Delivering reliable energy


Hydrocarbons are still key to keep energy flowing while the world shifts to a lower carbon energy system.

Today, oil and gas supply around 55% of the world’s energy.

Every year, the world consumes over 4,000 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

This energy keeps people’s lights on, keeps them moving and keeps them cool or warm as needed.

That’s where the projects like SGC and Shah Deniz come in.

Bringing benefits to the region and Europe.

And helping provide secure energy - the gas that can flow to where it is needed.


Performing safely and efficiently


As operator, we are proud to say that Shah Deniz continues to produce gas safely and efficiently.

Supporting Azerbaijan’s commitment to European and regional markets.

Last year, this giant field delivered more than 26 billion cubic metres of gas, having reached its plateau rates.

This delivery came with outstanding plant, well and export reliability of almost 100%.

Today, Shah Deniz facilities can produce about 79 million standard cubic metres of gas daily.

Just two weeks ago we started up the remaining fifth flank on Shah Deniz – East North.

With the plans to activate two more wells from this flank during the year.

All this will allow to further meet our commitments to the markets.


Exploring new depths


Meanwhile, as we are enhancing Shah Deniz production from the current reservoir, we are also looking for more gas beneath it.

For this, we have drilled one of the deepest exploration wells in the Caspian – SDX-8, reaching almost 7,000 metres below the seabed.

We are now analyzing the data from the layers we passed to understand how much more gas they might hold.

At the same time, we are looking at potential new sources of gas beyond Shah Deniz.

Last year, we drilled an appraisal well on ACG to explore the deep gas reservoirs under the producing oil field.

The data we have obtained from the well looks promising.

This gives us confidence to plan for the drilling of the first production well in the second half of the year.

We are going to drill it from the West Chirag platform – you can see it on the screen.

And, if successful, we will be able to achieve first ACG deep gas early next year.


Embarking on low carbon


However, we are not just focusing on finding more gas offshore.

We are also looking at how we can save more gas by electrifying our operations.

The electrification of the Sangachal terminal is one of the options.

It would enable this world-class facility to be powered by electricity from the national grid.

Thus, stop burning fuel gas to generate energy it needs.

And freeing up more volumes for export.

In parallel, we are working on Project Sunrise - a 240MW solar plant in the liberated territories in Jabrail.

We have just launched the public discussions of its environmental and social impact assessment.

Aiming to get to the final investment decision mid this year.

We have also defined a new virtual power transfer model for this project together with the Ministry of Energy.

This will allow us to offtake the electricity generated in Jabrail to run our operations at Sangachal, balancing it with the grid power.

My colleague Colin will explain more about this at the Green Energy session later today.

Grid power is also lower carbon intensity.

So, connecting to it will help us decarbonize operations at the terminal cutting our total regional emissions by about 11%.

This, in turn, will help reduce emissions in the Caspian and overall, support Azerbaijan’s energy transition.




So, to summarize my words.

Shah Deniz and SGC are key to the region’s and Europe’s energy transition and supply security.

We as operator are delivering on our promise.

Producing gas from the Caspian for regional and European markets.

Azerbaijan is committed to increase gas supplies through SGC.

As the long-term and reliable partner, we are ready to continue supporting the country as it realizes its plans for SGC.

And as it navigates through the energy transition.-Thank you for your attention.