British energy giant bp has commenced oil production at the new ACE platform in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.  

The ACE project, valued at $6bn, is the seventh platform in the ACG field, which has been a major source of oil since 1997. 

It is designed to process up to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is projected to yield around 300 million barrels over its lifespan. 

Oil extracted from the ACE platform will be transported through a new pipeline to the Sangachal terminal onshore, covering a distance of approximately 130km.  

This will link to an existing subsea export pipeline. 

Initial oil production at ACE began with a single well that was activated at the end of the previous year.  

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Production is anticipated to rise to around 24,000bpd by 2024 as additional wells are drilled and operationalised. 

BP also claims that in terms of technology and digital capabilities, the ACE platform is the most sophisticated bp-operated platform globally. 

BP regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkiye Gary Jones said: “This successful start-up is testament to the ongoing close collaboration between bp, SOCAR and the Government of Azerbaijan, together with the support of our partners.  

“First oil from ACE – in the year of the 30th anniversary of the agreement to develop ACG – marks the beginning of this world-class field’s next development phase.” 

As the operator, bp holds a 30.37% interest in the ACG field, which is said to have produced 4.3 billion barrels of oil since beginning production. 

Partners include the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan with 25%, MOL Group with 9.57%, INPEX with 9.31% and Equinor holding 7.27%.  

Other minority shareholders include ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%) and ONGCVidesh (2.31%). 

According to GlobalData, the ACG field has recovered 59.14% of its total recoverable reserves and is expected to continue production until 2049.  

The field is a crucial contributor to Azerbaijan’s oil output, accounting for 37% of national daily production. 

BP’s announcement comes as ADNOC recently explored the possibility of acquiring the UK oil and gas major.