Forging ahead on ACG

October 24, 2006, 14:45 CEST

East Azeri, part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) oil development in the Caspian, is well ahead of schedule and should be on stream by the end of this year.

The platform deck en route to its steel base at East Azeri in the Caspian Sea. The photo was taken in July.

“It’s great that we can start production here four months early,” says Andrew Sanderson. He is ACG project manager for Statoil, which has an 8.56% interest in the development.

“This has encouraged great optimism among the members of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) that we can deliver a first-class development and value creation.”

East Azeri’s first production well was recently opened for test production by BP, which is the operator for the 10-member AIOC consortium.

The company confirmed  in early October that the platform had passed all checks and was ready for the operational phase.

A second well is due to be tied back by the end of this month. 

Statoil's oil traders at the London office sold the group's first cargo of crude from East Azeri as early as this summer.

East Azeri is due to produce 260,000 barrels per day at plateau, according to calculations made in an early stage of this extensive phased development.

ACG is expected to yield more than a million daily barrels of oil when the full field reaches plateau production level in 2009.

This crude is piped to the Sangachal terminal outside Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, for processing and onward transport - primarily to the Mediterranean through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline owned 8.71% by Statoil.

Central Azeri, which formed phase I of the ACG development, came on stream in February 2005. It was followed last January by West Azeri, which forms stage II
together with East Azeri. Central and West Azeri came on stream ahead of the sanction schedule. 

Phase III will cover the deepwater Gunashli discovery and is due to begin production 2008. The ACG development embraces a total of seven platforms. 

Statoil has focused on working constructively with the operator to accelerate oil production and improve recovery through experience transfer.