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Azeri Central East (ACE) development project

  • Next stage of development of giant ACG field in Caspian Sea;
  • The first major investment by ACG partnership under extended PSA;
  • New development approved in 25th year of landmark partnership

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 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. 

In the first half of 2022, we spent about $229 million in operating expenditure and $791 million in capital expenditure on ACG activities.


During the first half of the year, the Azeri Central East (ACE) project progressed according to the plan along with the other bp-operated activities. 


The ACE topsides and drilling facilities fabrication activities continued at the fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat. The drilling facilities lifting onto the topsides unit was safely and efficiently completed. The 2,350 tonnes modular drilling support module (MDSM) and 2,400 tonnes drilling equipment set (DES) were first transported by self-propelled modular trailers to the jacking position, then were jacked up by incrementally installing steel cassettes to reach the final height of around 27 metres and then they were skidded onto the topsides deck. This was a carefully planned complex “Jack and Skid” operation and a first for bp in the Caspian. Integration of the drilling facilities on the topsides deck is currently ongoing. 


Another completed ACE activity is the topsides north and south cranes, which were safely installed along with the gas injection compressor exhaust. 


The topsides pipe erection and hydrotesting progressed as planned. The topsides and drilling mechanical completion handovers continued, commissioning works on the main power generation, chemical injection and sewage treatment packages commenced. The living quarters mechanical completion and handover progressed.


At the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets factory (BDJF), the jacket fabrication is completed with preparation activities for load-out still ongoing. 


The ACE subsea diving campaign continued with the support of the subsea construction vessel Khankendi. ACE gas subsea pipeline tie-ins to the existing infield pipeline were completed during the East Azeri turnaround (TAR) programme in June. 


All ACE related works on the Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms to support the gas pipeline tie-ins were also completed with overall all ACE scope successfully executed during the East Azeri TAR. 


The modification construction works for the ACE operations control from the shore are in progress at the Sangachal terminal.  


At the end of the second quarter of 2022, the ACE project reached the 75% progress milestone. The project construction activities continue at peak and involve about 5,000 people across Baku, Europe and the UK, with the majority of them being Azerbaijani nationals.


All engineering, procurement and onshore fabrication works remain on
track to be complete in 2023.