Production begins at Central Azeri in the Caspian

The members of the ACG Production Sharing Agreement are BP (operator – 34.1%), Unocal (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10%), Statoil (8.6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), and Amerada Hess (2.7%).

Located in approximately 128m of water 100km east of Baku, production began from the first of ten pre-drilled production wells on 13 February. Production will increase through 2005 as the other pre-drilled wells are brought online, prior to further platform drilling over the coming years. Total production from Central Azeri is forecast to be some 35 million barrels in 2005 (equivalent to an average of 93,000brl/d of oil). The Central Azeri facilities comprise a 48-slot production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform, a 30-in oil pipeline and a 28-in gas pipeline from CA to the Sangachal terminal, and expansion of the existing onshore terminal at Sangachal. The development is designed to process 420,000brl/d.

The oil from Central Azeri will be transported via the new 30-in subsea pipeline to the onshore terminal, which has been expanded to receive the additional oil volumes from the ACG field including three newly-built crude storage tanks. Processed oil from Sangachal will initially be transported to market via existing export routes, and through new export routes once the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is operational later this year. Gas produced from the field, beyond that used for reservoir pressure maintenance and fuel, will be exported via the new 28-in subsea pipeline into Sangachal’s gas-processing facilities. From there, the gas will be transported, via a newly-built gas-export pipeline, into the Azerigas system for domestic use.

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