The $6 billion development includes a new offshore platform and facilities designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to achieve first production in 2023 and produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime.
The sanction is the first major investment decision by the ACG partnership since the extension of the ACG production sharing agreement (PSA) to 2049 was agreed in 2017. More than $36 billion has been invested into the development of the ACG area since the original PSA was signed in 1994.
Construction activities, which commenced in July 2019 and run through mid-2022, will take place in-country utilizing local resources. It is expected that, at peak, construction activities will create up to 8,000 jobs.
The Azeri Central East (ACE) project 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 will also include 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 will be a water injection pipeline installed between the East Azeri and ACE platforms to supply injection water from the Central Azeri compression and water injection platform to the ACE facilities.
In 2019, the project awarded the main fabrication, marine and subsea contracts and started construction activities in July.
Despite the challenges and restrictions caused by the pandemic the Azeri Central East (ACE) project remained remarkably resilient during the first quarter of the 2021 along with the other bp-operated activities.
The overall project detailed design engineering works were completed by the end of the quarter. The shipment of major equipment packages and bulk materials to Baku continued in support of the fabrication schedule.
Fabrication activities on the topsides and drilling facilities for the ACE platform continued at the fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat. These included progressing the heavy lift programme with the installation of all the cellar deck panels, the lifting into position of the first weather deck sections, and several key drilling module lifts. The mechanical package installation progressed, the pipe fabrication, erection and cable pulling commenced. The mechanical equipment packages inspection and equipment deliveries continued with living quarters and major vessel delivery on plan. The living quarters modules have been shipped from Sweden and are expected to arrive in Baku in the second quarter of 2021.
At the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets factory (BDJF) the jacket fabrication continued at multiple work fronts both in the workshops and on the skid-way. Fabrication activities on the subsea structures and spools also continued.
During the quarter, the project progressed the offshore installation works associated with the produced water management on the Central Azeri platform, as well as the preparation for commencing brownfield works on the East Azeri platform in the second quarter of 2021 to allow the ACE platform to draw power from the Azeri field optimising power generation across the assets. At the Sangachal terminal the design for the onshore control room was completed to allow for the planned modifications to commence in the fourth quarter.
Overall, the engineering, procurement and fabrication works remain on track to support first production from the ACE project in 2023.