BP starts West Chirag oil production in Caspian Sea

BP says oil production has started from the new West Chirag platform in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea. The platform was commissioned for the $6 billion Chirag oil project in 2010 as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field development.

More than $4 billion was allocated to construction of facilities and the pre-drill program, and the remainder will be spent on platform development well drilling. The investment should help optimize recovery from the ACG field, BP adds. The entire platform was fabricated in Azerbaijan using local resources.

The West Chirag facility has been installed in around 170 m (558 ft) of water between the existing Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli platforms. Its oil-handling capacity is 183,000 b/d and its gas export capacity is 285 MMcf/d (8 MMcm/d).

Oil produced from the J05 well will be processed onboard and then exported to the Sangachal Terminal via a new infield pipeline linked to an existing 30-in. subsea export pipeline. Production will ramp up as the other pre-drilled wells are brought online.

Gordon Birrell, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, said, “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 Bbbl of oil and with future continual major investments in new technologies and facilities ... it will continue to produce … for many decades.”

Partners in the ACG development are BP (operator – 35.8%), SOCAR (11.6%), Chevron (11.3%), INPEX (11%), Statoil (8.6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), ITOCHU (4.3%), and ONGC Videsh (2.7%).

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