Oil major BP said Tuesday that the jacket of the Azeri Central East (ACE) platform built at the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) was ready for load-out to sail away to its permanent location in the ACG contract area in the Caspian Sea.
The $6 billion ACE project is the next stage of development of the giant BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in Caspian Sea.
Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on Tuesday visited the BDJF yard for an official ceremony to launch the jacket which will sail away for offshore installation in the first quarter of 2023.
The jacket will be loaded out onto the transportation barge STB-1 at the quayside of BDJF in preparation for sail-away. The ACE platform jacket, built by BOS Shelf, was fully constructed in Azerbaijan, using local construction infrastructure and facilities. Over 2,000 people including sub-contractors and specialist vendors were involved in the construction works and majority of the workforce were Azerbaijani citizens, BP said.
Gary Jones, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Türkiye, said: "The ACE project represents the start of the ACG’s renewed contract in action. We are very pleased to have completed the first massive piece of the project – the ACE platform jacket, safely and on schedule. This is a significant step towards the first ACE oil achievement."
"We will now focus on the other parts of the project – topside facilities, subsea construction and offshore installation as we move towards completion of the entire project next year. This will allow us to start drilling the first well for commencement of ACE production."
The ACE platform jacket weighs 16,000 tonnes and stands 153 metres high. It contains three production risers - one water injection, one oil export and one gas export.
ACE is centered on a new 48-slot production, drilling and quarters platform located mid-way between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms.
The project also includes new infield pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 oil and gas export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal terminal.
In addition, there will be a water injection pipeline between the East Azeri and ACE platforms to supply injection water from the Central Azeri compression and water injection platform to the ACE facilities.
The ACE platform and facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime.
The platform will be remotely controlled from the Sangachal terminal. Construction activities started in 2019 and 80% of the work scope is already completed with outstanding safety achievements of over 20 million hours worked injury free. Over 8,500 people have been involved in construction works in Azerbaijan to date, BP said.