By Ayya Lmahamad
November 5 marks the 25th anniversary of the first oil production from the Chirag offshore platform, the first Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) platform to start oil production, bp Azerbaijan told Azernews.
According to the decree, signed by National Leader Heydar Aliyev on October 27, 1997, the official celebration of this milestone took place on November 12, 1997.
“The start of production under the country’s first-ever Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the joint development of ACG fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea was a historic date that marked the start of the implementation of the country’s independent oil strategy.The start of ACG production from the Chirag platform, built by SOCAR before the signing of the PSA, was in itself quite symbolic, it also highlighted the fact that reliable partnership and favorable cooperation are the two key factors behind all ACG projects’ success,” said bp Azerbaijan.
To date, the Chirag platform has produced a total of approximately 766 million barrels or 103 million tonnes of oil, which is approximately one-fifth of ACG’s total production.
The platform was originally intended to operate for only seven years.
“However, thanks to the excellent performance, high-quality professional knowledge, technological skills and commitment of the platform team, Chirag continues to operate according to international standards of safety, operational efficiency and highest reliability with other new ACG platforms and will continue to deliver for many years to come,” the statement read.
bp, as operator of ACG, has since built five additional production platforms and continues to operate them safely and reliably. To date, these platforms have produced more than 3.4 billion barrels or around 460 million tonnes of oil, including Chirag with 4.2 billion barrels or 562 million tonnes.
“The day when the first oil was produced from the Chirag platform in November 1997 is symbolic as it marks the beginning of Azerbaijan’s new oil strategy. ACG production started from this rig, which was the field’s only source of production and export until the larger and more modern rigs came online in 2005. Today, Chirag continues to be one of ACG’s six production platforms and will remain so for a long time. are world-class national specialists and that the two rotating directors of the platform are Azerbaijani nationals,” said Elkhan Mammadov, Vice President of Production of bp for the region of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
The oil produced by ACG is mainly exported to world markets through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.
Note that the BTC pipeline is a complex engineering project designed as an export route to directly connect Azerbaijan to global markets. To date, approximately 3.9 billion barrels of crude oil have been transported through the BTC pipeline from Azerbaijan, loaded onto 5,163 tankers and sent to global markets.
Ayya Lmahamad is the journalist of AzerNews, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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