Jim Cowie, BP’s Vice President AGTR Wells, said: “As always, starting up the drilling and completions operations on a new facility is not without its challenges. Reaching 100 mbd is a major milestone for the Wells and Operations teams. Getting the wells online as safely and as quickly as we have on West Chirag has been a multi-disciplined One Team effort requiring commitment, professionalism and hard work by the people involved. The West Chirag team have a lot to feel proud of, undoubtedly they have set the bar on how to manage platform start-ups with minimal interruptions and non-productive time. Having achieved the first part, we can now look forward to a safe and successful future. A great team!”
Platform reliability has continued to improve with the team achieving over 100 days without a shutdown in the first year of operations. They have achieved this by removing vulnerabilities and by identifying and eliminating the root cause of losses. This will continue to be a big focus area for the team this year. Further systems are scheduled to come online in 2015 with commissioning of sand and produced water removal packages. The water injection pipeline from the DWG platform will also be installed this year.
Tony Hunt, BP’s Vice President AGTR Offshore Operations, said: "The team worked very well to overcome some early problems and performance of the topsides plant steadily improved, with first year plant reliability of 95.4% compared to our target of 85%. This is a world-class outcome. I also take the opportunity to thank our colleagues in the GPO for building the facility to a high standard and for retaining ownership of the fixes for the few remaining issues. A reliable plant makes a big contribution to running a safe operation. I'm also very pleased with the progress made on improving both personal and process safety performance during this first year. I'm very confident that West Chirag can now deliver safe, reliable and cost effective operations for many years to come."
The West Chirag platform has been installed at a water depth of 170 metres between the existing Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli platforms. The design oil capacity is 183mbd. The gas export capacity is 285 million standard cubic feet per day.
West Chirag is a $6-billion further development plan for ACG. Over $4 billion of the total project capital expenditure has been used in the construction of facilities and the pre-drill programme, and the balance of the sum will be spent on the platform development well drilling during the production period. This major investment will contribute to optimizing recovery from the ACG field.
For the first time in the history of Azerbaijan’s world-class construction sites, the West Chirag platform fabrication work was fully undertaken in the country using local resources.