First Jacket Successfully Launched at Deepwater Gunashli

11 April 2007

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) is pleased to announce that the jacket for the Phase 3 Drilling, Utilities and Quarters Platform (DUQ) sailed away on April 9, from the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory. It was launched offshore and docked onto pin piles at the template location in the Deepwater Gunashli (DWG) part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field on April 11 

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%), Hess (2.7%). 

The Phase 3 DUQ jacket was fully constructed in the country using local construction infrastructure at BDJF facilities. The total weight of the jacket is about 15,800 tonnes. The height of the jacket is about 190 metres, and it was installed at a water depth of 175 metres. The jacket has 12 piles, with a total weight of over 7,000 tons. 

The construction of this jacket was completed ahead of schedule during the third quarter last year. It was loaded out onto the transportation barge STB-1 at the BDJF quayside last September and remained there through the winter ready to sail away for offshore installation at the planned date in April 2007. 

"I am very pleased that now the jacket is offshore at its permanent location. The transportation and launch activities have been accomplished very successfully and most importantly in the safest possible way. This clearly shows that we have been able to create and maintain a project production line in the Caspian and undertake each stage more efficiently than the previous one", said Bruce Luberski, BP's Vice-President, Major Projects. 
"2007 is expected to be both culmination and final link in this project chain which has consisted of construction of six world-class offshore platforms – between now and the fourth quarter we will install two jackets and two topsides for the last two ACG platforms. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my team and those of the contractor companies for their outstanding delivery of the promise," Luberski said. 

The transportation and installation of the jacket used a number of SOCAR/KMNF (Khazardenizneftdonanmasi) vessels including the two principal installation vessels – the Derrick Barge Azerbaijan (DBA) and the STB-1 launch barge. The DBA underwent a further upgrade to undertake this installation work and the upgrade work was completed on March 17. 

The jacket transportation activities were also supported by two high capacity tugs - the Islay and the Jura. These are two identical vessels leased from the KMNF / BUE alliance fleet. These powerful tugs were required to tow the STB-1 to the offshore site safely as the jacket's exposed windage area was very high. Other marine vessels involved in towage, anchor handling and supply boat trips were the Nercha, the Pacific Wyvern, and the Svetlomor-2. 

The installation work has been carefully planned and it is expected to take 45 days to complete, including allowance for the weather conditions. 

The last jacket to be built for Phase 3 is for the Production, Compression, Water Injection and Utilities (PCWU) platform. The construction of this jacket is now approximately 92% complete and we plan to install it offshore during the second quarter this year immediately following the DUQ jacket. 

Photos available 
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 have included West Azeri, which started production in 2006, and East Azeri, which came on stream in October 2006 as Azeri Project Phase 2. The final ACG development phase - Phase 3 (Deepwater Gunashli) is 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