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ACE platform topsides unit sails away for offshore installation

Release date:
7 August 2023

bp as operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) field development project announces that today the Azeri Central East (ACE) platform topsides unit sailed away from the Bayil fabrication yard where it was built. Prior to its sail away the topsides unit was mostly commissioned and operationally tested onshore to minimise activities required for offshore installation and start-up.

On 4 April, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited the topsides fabrication yard and toured the almost completed topsides unit before it had sailed away to its permanent location. Since then, the team have successfully completed the key commissioning activities planned to be performed onshore. These activities mainly included the successful completion of the rig access period, the integrated assurance test and the blowdown safety testing.

Following these completions, the topsides unit was safely jacked-up and lowered onto the load-out frame in preparation for skidding onto the transportation barge.

On 30 May, the transportation barge STB-1 arrived at the Bibi-Heybat yard and preparations for load out activities commenced. On 2 July, the topsides unit was transferred onto the STB-1 barge, sea-fastened and prepared for sail away to the ACG field.

The topsides transportation, float-over and installation activities have been carefully planned and are expected to take around four days to complete. The unit will be installed on top of the ACE platform jacket which has been at its offshore location since March installed in a water depth of 137 metres.


Gary Jones, bp’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye, said:


“Today we sailed away the final section of the ACE platform which we believe is an  amazing feat of innovative engineering with its state-of-the-art design that will make it possible to extensively use system and process automations and digital innovations. This platform will be controlled remotely from the Sangachal terminal and this is the first time in our experience in the Caspian that we will control an offshore platform from onshore.


As operator we are extremely pleased to have completed all onshore construction and commissioning activities of such a complex project safely. I would like to say a huge thank you to all people involved in the construction and commissioning works. My special thanks are to our fabrication contractors, construction, commissioning, operations, safety and engineering teams and all the workforce for their excellent performance and delivery.


We expect the topsides unit to be safely installed onto the jacket over the next week. We will then need a few months to complete offshore hook up and commissioning works to allow us to commence drilling the first platform production well and deliver ACE first oil in early 2024.”

The construction of the 19,600-tonne topsides unit started in 2019 and was completed with outstanding safety achievements of over 21 million hours worked injury free.

The ACE topsides unit consists of oil and gas processing facilities, an integrated drilling rig, a gas compressor and living quarters.

The topsides unit was constructed by Azfen in the Bayil fabrication yard using local infrastructure and resources.

Notes to editors


  • The $6 billion ACE project is the next stage of development of the giant ACG field in the Caspian Sea.
  • ACE is centred on a new 48-slot production, drilling and quarters platform located mid-way between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of approximately 140 metres. The project also includes new infield pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal terminal. 
  • In addition, there is a water injection pipeline between the East Azeri and ACE platforms to supply injection water from the Central Azeri compression and water injection platform to the ACE facilities. 
  • The ACE platform and facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime.
  • At peak, over 8,500 people were involved in the ACE project construction works in Azerbaijan.


Further information


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