BP and its partners have commenced production from the East South flank of the $28bn Shah Deniz 2 project, offshore Azerbaijan.

The East South flank, which is contained in a water depth of 540m, consists of four wells.

Apart from the wells, the new production flank features two new flowlines and various subsea structures that have been connected to the Shah Deniz reservoir.

The flank is expected to reach full production rates in the third quarter of 2021.

According to BP, the East South flank adds 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the current production. When fully ramped up, the additional production from the flank will meet the gas requirements of two million homes.

BP said that the Shah Deniz 2 project will now increase its overall production to more than 2.4 billion standard cubic feet per day across the assets.

The company said that production from the deep-water flank began late last month, after wrapping up all the associated offshore construction and commissioning works.

BP Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey regional president Gary Jones said: “This is the biggest milestone we had planned to achieve in Shah Deniz this year and we are very proud to have achieved it safely, on schedule and within the budget despite the challenges and restrictions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

“Following the completion of the main Shah Deniz 2 infrastructure projects and achievement of first gas in 2018, the entire Shah Deniz team have been working hard to deliver new wells on the remaining flanks and start up new infrastructure in the Shah Deniz subsea system ramping up production from the giant field.”

The Shah Deniz gas field is located in the Caspian Sea. Discovered in 1999, the field covers nearly 860km2 and had approximately one trillion cubic metres of gas and two billion barrels of condensate initially in place.

The field saw it first phase brought into production in 2006, while its second phase came online in 2018.

Currently, the Shah Deniz field produces nearly 58 million cubic metres of gas and approximately 85,000 barrels of condensate per day.

BP has an operating stake of 28.8% in the offshore gas field. Its partners include TPAO (19.0%), Petronas (15.5%), AzSD (10%), NICO (10%), Lukoil (10%), and SGC Upstream (6.7%).

The Shah Deniz project is the starting point for the 3,500km long Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) system, which delivers gas from the Caspian Sea to the European market.