Today marks the 15th anniversary of First Oil production from the Chirag platform – the first platform to commence production from the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli fields. In accordance with the decree signed by the late President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev on October 27, 1997 the date was officially celebrated on November 12, 1997 to commemorate the commencement of production under the country’s first ever Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the joint development of the Azeri, Chirag and deepwater portion of the Gunashli fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Since that time BP as operator of the ACG PSA has built and safely and reliably operated 6 additional platforms (4 of them production platforms) which have delivered over 2.1 billion barrels of oil in total benefiting firstly the Azerbaijani nation and ACG partners, as well as the region.
The ACG production was followed by the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline BTC - a world-class project, which was designed to link Azerbaijan directly with the world markets helping strengthen economic and political links between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the West and bringing further significant benefits to the country and the region. To date BTC has carried about 1,552 million barrels of crude oil from Azerbaijan to world markets loaded on 2013 tankers.
“Commencement of oil production from Azerbaijan’s first PSA is an historical date which marks the beginning of the successful implementation of the Oil Strategy that was adopted by the government. It is also symbolic that ACG’s First Oil was produced from a SOCAR built platform and this once again highlights the importance of continued partnership and cooperation – the two driving forces behind all accomplishments and successes that ACG has so far delivered.
“We really are proud that to date Chirag has produced about 600 million barrels of oil which makes about one-third of ACG’s total production. And this is the delivery of a platform that was originally planned to only run 7 years. However, thanks to the excellent performance and commitment of the platform’s professional team, Chirag still continues to operate to the highest standards along with ACG’s new platforms and is expected to deliver for many years to come”, says Mark Thomas, BP’s Vice-President, Operations.
Some of the other benefits that ACG has to date delivered are:
· Total ACG investment - $24.8 bn;
· Jobs created and development of national staff - permanent jobs including contractors - over 6000; temporary jobs created during construction phase - over 12000;
· Social projects - total social spend in Azerbaijan by BP and co-venturers since the start of activities in Azerbaijan in 1994 till the end of the third quarter of 2012 was more than $56 miliion, of which about 30% (over $17 million) is ACG’s.