The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), operated by BP, announced the start-up of oil production from the West Chirag platform as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Start-up of the West Chirag platform completes the Chirag Oil Project (COP) sanctioned in 2010.
West Chirag production began from one of the pre-drilled wells, J05, on 28 January. The oil will first pass through the newly installed processing facilities on the platform and then will be exported to the Sangachal Terminal via a new in-field pipeline linked to an existing 30” subsea export pipeline. The West Chirag platform has been installed at a water depth of about 170m between the existing Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli platforms. The design oil capacity of the new platform is 183,000 barrels per day. The gas export capacity is 285MMscf per day. Production will increase through 2014 as the other pre-drilled wells are brought on line.
Gordon Birrell, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “The start-up of COP marks a major milestone in the development of the super- giant ACG field. West Chirag is the eighth world-class offshore platform that we have built and operated in a safe and efficient manner in the Caspian.”