BP and its partners in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field (ACG field) have approved the $6bn Azeri Central East project (ACE project), which marks the next stage of development of the super-giant offshore Azerbaijani oilfield in the Caspian Sea.


Image: The ACE project in the Caspian Sea will see the introduction of a new new offshore platform. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Conway / BP.

The ACE project is targeted to enter into production in 2023 and is estimated to have a production of up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime.

The investment decision follows an agreement signed by the partners with the Azerbaijani government to prolong the life of the ACG field until 2049.

Located nearly 100km east of Baku, the ACG field is the largest oilfield in the Azerbaijan waters. The deepwater field has been in production since 1997 and till date, ACG has been functioning as an oilfield complex, made up of six production platforms – Chirag 1, Central Azeri, West Azeri, East Azeri, Deepwater Gunashli and West Chirag.

The ACE project will introduce a new offshore platform and facilities in the ACG field that will be capable of processing up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: “Working together over the past 25 years, this remarkable partnership has turned these world-class assets into tremendous benefits for the people of Azerbaijan. The ACE extension builds on that legacy and helps ensure that the next quarter century will be just as bright.”

The new offshore oil project is centered on a 48-slot production, drilling and quarters platform. It will be installed mid-way between the Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of nearly 140m.

The Azeri Central East project will also see installation of new infield pipelines for the transportation of oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for delivery to the onshore Sangachal Terminal.

The partners also plan to install a water injection pipeline between the East Azeri and ACE platforms to supply injection water sourced from the Central Azeri compression and water injection platform to the ACE facilities.

Construction on the ACE project is slated to begin this year and continue through mid-2022. At its peak, the construction stage of the new offshore oil project is expected to generate up to 8,000 jobs.

BP is the operator of the ACG field and its partners include SOCAR/AzACG, Chevron, INPEX, Equinor, ExxonMobil, TPAO, ITOCHU and ONGC Videsh.