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Deepwater Gunashli Pre-Drilling Programme Commences

Release date:
23 December 2005


The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), operated by BP, has commenced the Deepwater Gunashli (DWG), also known as Phase 3, pre-drilling programme. This follows the successful completion of the pre-drilling programme at the East Azeri (EA) location.


ACG Participating Interests are: BP (operator – 34,1367%), SOCAR (10%), Unocal (10,2814%), INPEX (10,0%), Statoil (8,5633%), ExxonMobil (8.0006%), TPAO (6.7500%), Devon (5,6262%), ITOCHU (3,9205%), Delta Hess (2,7213%). The Dada Gorgud (DDGG) semi submersible drilling rig, was towed into position at the DWG pre-drill location today, 23rd of December.

The first DWG pre-drill well will be spudded before the end of the year.


The DWG platform template pre-drilling programme currently consists of seven wells, six of which are planned as producers and one as a cuttings re-injection well (to be used for platform drilling activity only). In addition to the pre-drilled platform template wells, the DWG drilling campaign also includes six sub-sea water injection wells which will be also be drilled using the DDGG as part of the Phase 3 Development.

The total planned duration of the DWG pre-drilling and sub-sea injection well drilling programmes is almost two and a half years.


The drilling contractor for the Deep Water Gunashli pre-drilling programme is the Caspian Drilling Company (CDC), which is a joint venture between SOCAR and Global SantaFe, an international company.

Phil Prestridge, BP’s Pre-Drilling Wells Team Leader says: “BP has the target of no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment. We are proud by the end of the time we worked on the Azeri field, the Dada Gorgud drilling rig had worked over four and a half years without a day away from work case incident. “As we move forward every team member is committed to build on the success of the Azeri pre-drill activities throughout the delivery of the DWG pre-drill programme.”


Photos available


Note to Editors:
The ACG Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) signed in September 1994, covers the 30 year development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) contract area. It is estimated that 5.4 billion barrels of oil will be recovered during that period. The field is being developed in several phases: Chirag has been producing since 1997 as part of the Early Oil Project (EOP). This was followed by Azeri Project Phase 1 - Central Azeri production, which started on February 13, 2005. Successive phases include West Azeri and East Azeri as Azeri Project Phase 2, scheduled to come on stream in 2006 and 2007 respectively, with ACG Phase 3 – Deep Water Gunashli, sanctioned on September 20, 2004, and expected to begin production in 2008.



Further information:

BP Press Office, Baku: +994 12 599 45 57