BP Installs Massive 19,600-tonne Topsides Unit on Caspian Sea Jacket

Credit: BP
Credit: BP

Oil major BP has completed the installation of the 19,600-tonne topsides of the $6 billion Azeri Central East (ACE) project platform onto a jacket in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan.

Constructed by Azfen in the Bayil fabrication yard, the topsides unit was loaded on a barge and left the yard last week, en route to the BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli field.

The unit was installed on top of the ACE platform jacket, which has been at its offshore location since March, installed in a water depth of 137 meters.

The platform will be controlled remotely from the Sangachal terminal, according to Gary Jones, bp’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye, "this is the first time in our experience in the Caspian that we will control an offshore platform from onshore."

According to Jones, it would take a few months to complete offshore hook-up and commissioning works to allow BP to start drilling the first platform production well and deliver ACE first oil in early 2024.

The ACE topsides unit consists of oil and gas processing facilities, an integrated drilling rig, a gas compressor, and living quarters.

The ACE development, consisting of a new 48-slot production, drilling, and quarters platform, is located mid-way between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of approximately 140 meters. 

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 is 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.

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