East Azeri Topsides Installed Offshore

28 July 2006

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) is pleased to announce that today the topsides of the East Azeri Production, Drilling and Quarters Platform were safely installed offshore onto the jacket. 
This follows the successful sail away of the topsides from the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jacket Factory (BDJF) fabrication yard on July 26. Since July 6 the 15,850 tonne EA topsides had been ready to sail away from BDJF, where they had been loaded onto the transportation barge STB-1 waiting for favourable weather conditions.

The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Chevron (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10.,0%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), Amerada Hess (2.7%).

The EA platform is located at 150m water depth on the east side of Azeri Field. The jacket of the EA PDQ platform was installed offshore in March 2006. First Oil from EA is planned to be achieved before the end of 2006 following completion of topsides offshore hook up and commissioning activities. This will ultimately increase the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli offshore facilities oil production capacity by 260,000 barrels per day. 

Bruce Luberski, BP’s Vice-President, Major Projects, says: “We continue to achieve milestones we committed for this year. This is in fact the fourth major milestone we have successfully delivered since the beginning of 2006, with the first three being the start up of the West Azeri and Compression and Water Injection platforms and the Phase 2 facilities at the Sangachal Terminal. 

“We are now planning to start production from East Azeri by the end of 2006, which is a couple of months ahead of our promised schedule. This early delivery is based on our standardized approach and capability to apply successfully the lessons learned from our previous platforms in the Caspian. 
“I would like to thank every member of the project team and our contractors for their commitment to safety and personal dedication to the project. With the safe sail away and offshore installation of the topsides now achieved and with the continuing commitment and dedication of my team, I am confident that we will be able to meet our next target for delivery of first East Azeri oil by the end of this year.“ 

Note to Editors: 
The ACG Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), 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 the PSA period. The field is being developed in several phases: Chirag has been producing since 1997 as part of the Early Oil Project (EOP). This was followed by Azeri Project Phase 1 - Central Azeri production in early 2005. Successive phases include West Azeri, which started production in early 2006, and East Azeri, scheduled to come on stream in early 2007 as Azeri Project Phase 2, with ACG Phase 3 - Deepwater Gunashli, already under construction and expected to begin production in 2008.

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