President Officially Inaugurates First Oil from Central Azeri

18 February 2005

HE President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan has inaugurated the first oil from the newly-built Central Azeri production, drilling and quarters platform at an offshore ceremony today. This event signals the official beginning of oil production from the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) Full Field Development. 

Production will increase through 2005 as the other pre-drilled wells are brought online, prior to further platform drilling over the coming years. Total production from Central Azeri is forecast to be some 35 million barrels in 2005 (equivalent to an average of 93 000 barrels of oil a day). 

The Central Azeri platform is located in approximately 128 metres of water 100km east of Baku. The Central Azeri facilities comprise a 48-slot production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform, a 30" oil pipeline and a 28” gas pipeline from CA to the Sangachal Terminal, expansion of the existing onshore terminal at Sangachal. The development is designed to process 420,000 barrels of oil a day. 

In addition to the PDQ, a compression and water injection platform (C&WP) will be installed in Central Azeri in the third quarter this year and bridge-linked to the PDQ to create a major offshore complex encompassing accommodation, drilling, production, processing, compression and re-injection facilities. 
Oil from Central Azeri will be transported via a new 30” subsea pipeline to the onshore Sangachal Terminal, which has been expanded to receive the additional oil volumes from the ACG field including three newly-built crude storage tanks. Processed oil from Sangachal will initially be transported to market via existing export routes, and through new export routes once the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is operational later this year. 

Gas produced from Central Azeri, beyond that used for reservoir pressure maintenance and fuel, will be exported via the new 28” subsea pipeline into the Sangachal Terminal gas processing facilities. From there the gas will be transported, via a newly built gas export pipeline into the Azerigas system for domestic use. 

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%). 

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