East Azeri drilling modules arrive in Baku

21 June 2005

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) is pleased to announce that the main drilling modules for the East Azeri (EA) production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform have already arrived in Baku from the Netherlands where they were built by Mercon Steel Structures, AIOC’s drilling modules construction contractor. The total dry weight of these modules including the drilling derrick is approximately 4,500 tonnes. The construction of the drilling facilities was implemented at Mercon yard in the Netherlands over a period of eighteen months and integration into the EA topsides and commissioning will take place at Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) yard. 
ACG Participating Interests are: BP (operator – 34,1%), Unocal (10,2%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5,6%), ITOCHU (3,9%), Amerada Hess (2,7%).

The drilling modules departed on three barges from the Netherlands between April 23rd and May 9th and arrived progressively in Baku during June. The modules, which have been designed to the maximum feasible size for the Russian inland waterways were delivered without incident into the Caspian via the northern canal route with slight delay due to late canal opening this year. All of the modules and the drilling derrick are expected to be installed onto the integrated deck over the coming months at BDJF by McDermott Caspian Contractors Inc., AIOC's contractor for fabrication of East Azeri platform topsides.

The drilling modules for the East Azeri platform once erected, will comprise three main components - the drilling support module, the drilling equipment set and the drilling derrick. The modules are designed to provide drilling from 48 slots during the operational life of the East Azeri PDQ platform. 
Note to Editors:

The ACG production sharing agreement signed in September 1994, covers the 30 year development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli 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. 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 - Deepwater Gunashli, sanctioned on September 20, 2004, and expected to begin production in 2008. 



Further information:
Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku, telephone: 994 (0) 12 599 4557