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Azeri Central East (ACE) development project

Drilling modules jack up and skidding activities on ACE

More about the 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. About $42 billion has been invested into the development of the ACG area since the original PSA was signed in 1994. 


The project construction activities, which commenced in July 2019 are currently taking place in-country utilizing local resources. At peak, these activities involved about 5,500 people across Baku, Europe and the UK, with the majority of them being Azerbaijani nationals.


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.

During the third quarter of 2022, the Azeri Central East (ACE) platform topsides and drilling facilities fabrication activities continued at the fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat. The integration of the drilling facilities into the topsides progressed with both the modular drilling support module (MDSM) and the drilling equipment set (DES) fully handed over to commissioning and the drilling rig skidding commissioning commenced. 


This followed the safe execution of the 2,350 tonnes MDSM and the 2,400 tonnes DES jack up to the final height of around 27 metres and then the successful skid onto the topsides deck. This was a carefully planned complex “Jack and Skid” operation and a first for bp globally. 


Please visit this link to see the time lapse video of this operation.


The topsides mechanical completion handovers progressed significantly supporting the ramp-up of the commissioning activity. The topsides commissioning reached the 50 per cent progress milestone.


The living quarters helideck third party testing certification was completed, and onlytwo mechanical completion handovers across the living quarter modules are yet to be finalized.
At the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jacket factory (BDJF), the jacket is almost ready for loadout planned for early 2023.


The STB-01 transportation barge underwent required modifications and renewed her class certification. The barge then arrived at BDJF where reactivation and sponsons installation activities commenced.


The gas export infield pipeline between the Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms successfully restarted following the ACE tie-in campaign. 


The subsea construction vessel Khankendi installed the oil plug retrieval and isolation structure (PRIS/Wye structure), and the diving support vessel subsequently completed all metrology for the oil system spools.


The pipelay barge Israfil Huseynov completed the 16” subsea water injection pipelay.


At the Sangachal terminal, onshore site construction and standalone commissioning activities for the ACE operations control from the shore completed, and integration works with ACE topsides commenced.


The project also commenced offshore execution for the ACE oil pipeline tie-in scope on the Central Azeri platform.


By the end of the third quarter of 2022, the ACE project had almost reached the 80 per cent progress milestone. 


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