President Aliyev Visits West Azeri

3 March 2006

HE President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan today visited the West Azeri production, drilling and quarters platform to officially inaugurate this newly-built offshore facility operated by BP. 
The President toured the platform and met representatives of the management and staff to review the status of current production and drilling operations and plans. 

The President was informed that oil production from the West Azeri platform, which is a part of Phase 2 of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) full field development, was achieved four months ahead of schedule on December 30, 2005. Transiting the subsea pipeline to shore, West Azeri oil production reached the Sangachal Terminal on the January 3rd marking the start-up of exports from Phase 2. 

Currently the platform is producing from the first of the three pre-drilled production wells at the rate of about 35,000 barrels per day. The second pre-drilled well was put into operation today on the occasion the President’s visit to the platform. Production from West Azeri will increase through 2006 as the other pre-drilled wells are brought online, prior to further platform drilling commencing later this year. On plateau the WA facility will produce up to 300 000 barrels per day. 
Welcoming President Aliyev to West Azeri David Woodward, BP’s Associated President in Azerbaijan, said: “2006 will be a momentous year for BP, our partners and Azerbaijan: we brought West Azeri on stream at the beginning of the year 4 months ahead of schedule; in the second quarter we will start up the Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform and see the first BTC tanker loading at Ceyhan to take Azerbaijan’s oil to world markets; in the third quarter we will start gas production from Shah Deniz and around the end of the year we hope that we will bring on stream East Azeri ahead of schedule. These huge achievements have involved tens of thousands of people working for many years. Much of the work has been undertaken in Azerbaijan and over 75% of the in-country workforce has been Azerbaijan nationals. Everyone who has contributed should be thanked and congratulated” 

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%). 
Note to Editors: West Azeri is located in approximately 118 metres of water 100km east of Baku. 

The West Azeri facilities comprise a 48-slot production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform and a 30" oil pipeline tie-in to the onshore Sangachal Terminal. 

Oil from West Azeri is transported via the new 30” subsea pipeline to the onshore Sangachal Terminal, which has been expanded, including three new crude oil storage tanks. 

Associated gas produced from West Azeri will flow via in-field gas subsea pipelines to the Compression and Water Injection Platform (C&WP) installed in Central Azeri for re-injection into the reservoir for pressure maintenance or used as fuel. Surplus gas is exported via an existing gas subsea pipeline into the Sangachal Terminal and onward via the new gas export pipeline into the Azerigas system for domestic use. 

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 2007 as Azeri Project Phase 2, with ACG Phase 3 - Deepwater Gunashli, already sanctioned and expected to begin production in 2008. 


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