The Azeri Central East (ACE) project is part of the development in the Azeri, Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) Contract Area. Image courtesy of Equinor.
The produced oil will be transported to the Sangachal Terminal. Image courtesy of Official website the President of Azerbaijan.
The ACG contract area is located in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Image courtesy of Equinor.

The Azeri Central East (ACE) project is the new phase of development in the Azeri, Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) contract area in Azerbaijan.

The ACG contract area is jointly owned by BP (30.37%, operator), SOCAR/AzACG (25%), Chevron (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%) and ONGC Videsh (OVL, 2.31%).

The $6bn project was announced following an agreement with the Government of Azerbaijan for extending the operational life of the ACG field until 2049. The project is designed to process 100,000 barrels per day of oil and 350 million standard cubic feet per day (Mscfd) of gas.

Construction works on the project are expected to be commenced in 2019 and completed by 2022. First oil is expected in 2023, with production estimated to be up to 300 million barrels over its life.

The development is projected to generate 8,000 jobs during the peak construction phase.

Azeri Central East project location and background details

ACE project is located in the ACG contract area, which is situated 120km east of Baku. The ACG contract area is spread across 432km² in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.

The field is being developed in five phases known as Early Oil Project (EOP), ACG Phases one, two and three, and Chirag Oil Project (COP).

The contract area is installed with eight offshore platforms, including six production platforms and two processing and utility platforms.

ACG field produces approximately 585,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the contract area. It has produced 3.5 billion barrels of oil till date, which is exported through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Western Route Export pipelines.

ACE project development details

The ACE project includes the construction of a production, drilling, quarters (PDQ) platform, which will be installed in the middle of the Central Azeri (CA) and East Azeri (EA) platforms at a depth of 137m. The platform will be developed to increase drilling capacity, which will help in expediting production and improving recovery.

Baku Deep Water Jacket Factory (BDJF) and Bayil (Amec-Tekfen-Azfen) yards are considered as potential onshore locations for the construction of the platform topside and jacket.

The project also involves brownfield modifications to the CA compression and water injection (CA-CWP) platform and EA platform to facilitate the export of gas from the ACE platform to the shore during unavailability of gas injection.

Subsea infrastructure details

A subsea cable will be installed from the EA platform to the ACE platform to provide power back-up and communication services.

A 16in water injection infield pipeline will be linked to the existing CA-EA water injection pipeline for transfer of high-pressure water from the CA-CWP platform to the ACE platform.

Transportation of produced oil and gas

Partially stabilised reservoir fluids will be transported to the Sangachal Terminal via a 30in infield oil pipeline, which will be tied-back to an existing 30in diameter oil export pipeline adjacent to the CA-CWP platform.

Produced gas will be used as fuel, as well as lift gas and gas reinjection. An 18in diameter pipeline will export excess gas to the Sangachal Terminal through a tie-in with the existing gas export pipeline.

Contractors involved

The joint venture of KBR and SOCAR was awarded two front end engineering design (FEED) contracts. The scope of work of the first contract includes the provision of FEED services for the new platform and associated brownfield tie-ins to existing platforms, while that of the second contract includes the provision of subsea FEED services.

The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the Azeri Central East project was undertaken by AECOM.