Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2005 (13.3)
Pages 94-97

BP Current Developments

BTC Pipeline Filling Up
by Tamam Bayatly, BP Communications Manager

BTC Pipeline official inauguration, BTC PipelineThe Azerbaijan section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline was officially inaugurated on May 25, 2005, by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in an official ceremony, which was held at the BTC head pump station in the Sangachal Terminal near Baku.

Above: The Official Inauguration of the Azerbaijan section of the BTC Pipeline.
From left: Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and BP Chief Executive Lord John Browne. Sangachal Terminal near Baku, May 25, 2005.

This event marked the official celebration of First Oil into the Heydar Aliyev BTC main export pipeline. President Ilham Aliyev of the Azerbaijan Republic hosted the event in which he was joined by the President of Turkey Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbeyev, and a large group of visiting senior government and state officials, senior executives of BTC owner companies and business representatives.

The Inauguration of BTC followed the commissioning of the BTC Head Pump Station at the Sangachal Terminal earlier this month and officially marks the commencement of the first linefill phase of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline.

A total of 10 million barrels of crude oil is required to fill the 1,768 kilometer (nearly 1,100 miles) pipeline running from the Sangachal Terminal to Georgia and on to the Ceyhan Terminal on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The oil comes from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The staged filling of the pipeline along its entire route could take more than six months.

Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform, Central Azeri
Left: Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform Topsides sail away on September 21, 2005, marking the start of new oil and gas technology in the Caspian.

David Woodward, BP Azerbaijan Associate President, said: "Over the last decade nearly $10 billion have been invested in this country's oil and gas developments in the Caspian, and over the next decade that will make the Caspian region one of the major sources of incremental supply to the world market. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for both Azerbaijan and BP".

The inauguration of BTC also marked a major step in BP's continuing long-term strategy of delivering growing volumes of oil and gas from new hydrocarbon provinces around the world.

Speaking at the ceremony, BP Chief Executive Lord Browne described the project as "a heroic engineering achievement, as ground-breaking in today's context as Prudhoe Bay and the Trans-Alaskan pipeline were 30 years ago. The pipeline opens up massive new fields in the Caspian Sea to world markets, enhancing security of supply for decades to come. And it does so in a way that avoids the transit of large numbers of tankers through the narrow and congested Bosphorous."

The BTC partners have contributed more than $100 million to community investment, environmental and cultural heritage protection programs among 454 communities along the pipeline's route.

Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform
Oil Crosses Border
On August 10, the first barrels of oil flowing through BTC reached the Azerbaijan-Georgian border and entered the Georgian section.

Left: Installation of the Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform in September 2005. This is the first time that this innovative technology is being utilized in the Caspian Sea.

This followed the filling of the Azerbaijan section of the pipeline with about 2.3 million barrels of oil.

The oil in the Georgian section is now moving between Pump Station No 1 and Pump Station No. 2. The official celebration of First Oil into the Georgian section of the pipeline was held in Tbilisi on October 12, 2005. The event was hosted by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili at the BTC pumping station near Gardabani and attended by President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer of Turkey. BP Group Managing Director Iain Conn and a large group of government officials, senior executives of BTC owner companies and business representatives also attended.

West Azeri Jacket and Topsides
The jacket for the West Azeri (WA) production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform sailed away in May from the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) and was successfully installed offshore on the template at its permanent location in the Azeri field.

The WA PDQ jacket was fully assembled in country using local construction infrastructure including BDJF facilities. The total weight of the jacket is 14,400 tons. The height of the jacket is 133 meters, and it is being installed at a water depth of 120 meters. The jacket has 16 piles, with a total weight of 10,100 tons. The offshore installation work took about 50 days to complete.

Following this, the WA platform topsides sailed away on September 21 and were safely installed offshore onto the jacket the next day.

The WA platform is the second new world-class production platform BP will have installed offshore following Central Azeri. It is located at 120m water depth on the west side of Azeri Field.

The commissioning of First Oil from West Azeri is planned for January 2006 following completion of topsides offshore hook-up activities. This will increase the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil fields offshore facilities oil production capacity by an additional 340,000 barrels per day.

Inauguration of First Oil into the Georgian Section, BTC
Gas to Azerbaijan
In May the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) commenced delivery of associated gas to the Azerbaijan state from Central Azeri and Sangachal Terminal. diameter of 30 inches (762 mm).

Left: Inauguration of First Oil into the Georgian section of the pipeline was held in Tbilisi on October 12, 2005. Left to right: BP Group Managing Director Iain Conn, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who hosted the event, and Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

This followed the completion, commissioning and successful testing of new gas export pipeline which connects the Sangachal Terminal gas processing facilities to the Azerigas' national grid system.

The design capacity of the pipeline is in excess of 19.8 million cubic meters per day (700 million standard cubic feet per day) at a pressure of up to 40 bar. AIOC expects to deliver in excess of 300 million standard cubic meters of gas from Central Azeri to Azerbaijan in 2005.

The associated gas currently comes from six Central Azeri wells, which, in total, are now producing in excess of 140,000 barrels of oil per day. From the platform, the gas is exported into the Sangachal Terminal gas processing facilities via the new 28-inch subsea pipeline.

In the future, gas produced from Central Azeri, beyond that which is to be used for reservoir pressure maintenance and fuel, will continue to be exported via the 28-inch subsea pipeline into the Sangachal Terminal and from there it will continue to be transported, via the new gas export pipeline into the Azerigas system for domestic use.

The associated gas produced from the Chirag platform will continue to be sent to the SOCAR compression station at Oil Rocks via the existing 16-inch subsea gas pipeline, and the remainder will be sent to the Central Azeri compression and water injection platform (C&WP) once it is operational in the first quarter of 2006, for re-injection into the reservoir. No longer will gas be flared on the Chirag platform. Currently, 100 million scfd of associated gas is delivered to Azerbaijan from Chirag.

East Azeri Drilling Modules
In June, the main drilling modules for the East Azeri (EA) production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform arrived in Baku from the Netherlands where they had been built. The total dry weight of these modules including the drilling derrick is approximately 4,500 tons. The integration into the EA topsides and commissioning will take place at Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) yard.

The drilling modules for the East Azeri platform, once erected, will comprise three main components - the drilling support module, the drilling equipment set and the drilling derrick. The modules are designed to provide drilling from 48 slots during the operational life of the East Azeri PDQ platform.

BTC, BTC stamp
Chirag Milestone
In June the Chirag platform reached the 300 million barrels production milestone within the Early Oil Project (EOP).

Left: Azerbaijani stamp commemorating the 1100-mile BTC Pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. 2003.

This is a significant achievement, which reflects remarkable oil production performance as Chirag has operated with very few interruptions since the commencement of development drilling and first oil production in 1997.

This is another outstanding accomplishment for Chirag and recognition that Chirag continues to perform as a world-class facility. The Chirag platform employs 250 people of whom more than 85 percent are Azerbaijan nationals.

The production is processed at the Sangachal Terminal, which has maintained an operating efficiency of near 100 percent. This has enabled the Chirag Platform to continue production with virtually no interruption.

The platform currently has 19 wells, of which 11 are active producing wells and five are active water injection wells. Drilling operations commenced on a new producing well A-20 in late July. Since the beginning of this year the production activities on Chirag have continued in accordance with the plan for 2005 with an operating efficiency exceeding 96 percent. During 2005, it is expected that Chirag will have an average production rate in excess of 134,000 barrels per day.

Platform Topsides Sailed Away
The topsides of the Central Azeri Compression and Water Injection Platform (C&WP) sailed away successfully and were safely launched offshore onto the jacket on July 3.

The C&WP Topsides is a world-class facility fully built in the ATA yard in Bibi-Heybat near Baku. The facility has the following gas and water injection and export capacities: Gas Injection: 1 billion standard cubic feet per day utilizing 5 gas injection wells. Water Injection: 1 million barrels per day utilizing 12 water injection wells. Gas export: 250 million standard cubic feet per day.

The C&WP platform will provide water and gas injection service to Central/West and East Azeri platforms for necessary future production operations. Once connected to these platforms, it will also be able to manage gas associated with oil export.

Offshore installation and hook-up activities were completed in late September and offshore commissioning is planned to be complete by the end of this year.

BTC, BTC stamp
Shah Deniz
The Shah Deniz project spudded the fourth pre-drill development in August.

Left: Georgian stamp commemorating the East-West Energy Corridor of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline. No Date.

The well will complete the Shah Deniz Stage 1 Pre-Drilling Program. The well is being drilled from the existing drilling template at a location that is near the fields crest, with a drilling step-out of 1.4 km. drill and suspend.
The water depth at the template location is approximately 101 meters. The anticipated drill depth of the well is 6,214 meters and will take approximately 140 days. The successful completion of the first three wells has resulted in gaining a significant amount of experience of drilling in the Shah Deniz reservoir and the South Caspian in general.

The fourth well will be yet another opportunity to build upon BP's previous knowledge of this challenging drilling environment and will enable the operator company to better plan for future drilling operations from the platform after TPG500 is commissioned in the first half of 2006.

Garadagh, Garadagh school, Garadagh school soccer tournament
Garadagh Football Tournament
In June the Sangachal Terminal held the Second Garadagh School Football Tournament - an annual project to promote physical training.

Left: Jacobus Nieuwenhuijze, Sangachal Terminal Expansion Programme Director, presents the trophy at the Second Annual Garadagh School Soccer Tournament.

The number of teams participating in this year's tournament increased significantly, which clearly indicated that the event was becoming more popular in the Garadagh district where the Sangachal Terminal is located.

This year's tournament involved 820 young people from 82 teams, representing 11 communities of the Garadagh district, including schools from the Umid refugee camp.

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