The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), operated by BP, today announced the start-up of oil production from the West Chirag platform as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Start-up of the West Chirag platform completes the Chirag Oil Project (COP) sanctioned in 2010.
West Chirag production began from one of the pre-drilled wells - J05, on 28 January. The oil will first pass through the newly installed processing facilities on the platform and then will be exported to the Sangachal Terminal via a new in-field pipeline linked to an existing 30” subsea export pipeline. Production will increase through 2014 as the other pre-drilled wells are brought on line.
Gordon Birrell, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “The start-up of COP marks a major milestone in the development of the super- giant ACG field. West Chirag is the eighth world-class offshore platform that we have built and operated in a safe and efficient manner in the Caspian. To date the ACG field has produced over 2.3 billion barrels of oil and with future continual major investments in new technologies and facilities, like the one we have today started up, it will continue to produce as a world-class reservoir for many decades. BP as the operator of the ACG field and our partners are committed to continuing the efforts that are expected to take us step by step towards optimization of production and maximization of the field recovery. We believe COP represents a big step forward towards stabilizing ACG’s production and increasing recovery by drilling more wells from the new West Chirag facility.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of people, mostly from Azerbaijan, who built and installed the subsea pipelines, jacket and topsides unit of the new platform, for their dedication and outstanding performance over the past four years. I would also like to congratulate the government, our partners, employees, all the contractors, suppliers, and everyone else involved on this tremendous achievement. I would like to specifically highlight the outstanding performance of ACG’s project, drilling, and operations teams in safely achieving First Oil. This demonstrates our ability to continue the impressive track record of planning, construction, and operations delivery in the Caspian Sea”.
The West Chirag platform has been installed at a water depth of about 170 metres between the existing Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli platforms. The design oil capacity of the new platform is 183 thousand barrels per day. The gas export capacity is 285 million standard cubic feet per day.