Jacket for West Azeri Platform Successfully Launched Offshore

11 May 2005

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) is pleased to announce that the jacket for the West Azeri (WA) production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform sailed away on May 7th , from the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) and was launched offshore onto the template at its permanent location in the Azeri field on May 8th .

The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Unocal (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 WA PDQ jacket has been fully assembled in the country using local construction infrastructure including BDJF facilities. The total weight of the jacket is 14,400 tonnes. The height of the jacket is 133 metres, and it is being installed at a water depth of 120 metres. The jacket has 16 piles, with a total weight of 10,100 tonnes. 
The transportation and installation of the jacket will use a number of SOCAR/KMNF vessels including the two principal installation vessels – the Derrick Barge Azerbaijan (DBA) and the STB-1 launch barge. The DBA has been further upgraded to undertake the installation work.

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. The 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 Raider, and the Svetlomor-2. 

The installation work has been carefully planned and it is expected to take 45-50 days to complete, including allowance for the weather conditions. 
Bruce Luberski, Vice-President, Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Project, said: “This milestone is yet another example of the production line success we have been achieving since the beginning of the construction activities and brings us closer to the start-up of production from West Azeri early next year. On this occasion I would like to recognize the tremendous efforts of the many people who have been involved working so hard to design the jacket, procure the materials, construct the structure and set it onto the barge safely, and now sail it out to its location for installation. In particular, I would like to recognize our main contractors - KBR for the design work, BOS Shelf - who built the jacket, Saipem - who engineered the jacket transport and installation. I would also like to thank SOCAR/BDJF and KMNF whose facilities and vessels have been a driving force in this truly international and world-class achievement.” 
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, which started on the 13 of February, 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