BP has commenced production from the East South flank, the new phase of its Shah Deniz II gas field in Caspian Sea offshore Azerbaijan.

Planned to reach full production rates in the third quarter of this year, the deepwater flank has a production capacity of 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

It comprises four wells, two new flowlines and subsea structures that are connected to the Shah Deniz reservoir.

The new phase is expected to increase the Shah Deniz II field’s overall production to more than 2.4 billion standard cubic feet per day across the assets.

BP Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey regional president Gary Jones said: “This is the biggest milestone we had planned to achieve in Shah Deniz this year and we are very proud to have achieved it safely, on schedule and within the budget despite the challenges and restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

At peak, the Shah Deniz II field is expected to have a production capacity of 16 billion cubic metres of gas per year (bcma).

This will bring the Shah Deniz field’s total production capacity to 26bcma.

Discovered in 1999, the Shah Deniz field is estimated to have reserves of approximately one trillion cubic metres of gas and two billion barrels of condensate.

To date, the Shah Deniz consortium has produced more than 140 billion cubic metres of gas and more than 33 million tonnes of condensate from the field.

The Shah Deniz field’s first phase began production in 2006 while the second phase started production in 2018.

The field is operated by BP, which has a 28.8% stake. Other partners are TPAO with a 19% interest, Petronas with a 15.5% stake, SGC Upstream with a 6.7% interest, as well as AzSD, Lukoil and NICO with stakes of 10% each.