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Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli is located in Caspian_Sea
Location of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli
Country Azerbaijan
Region Caspian Sea
Offshore/onshore Offshore
Coordinates 40°1′4″N 51°15′58″E / 40.01778°N 51.26611°E / 40.01778; 51.26611Coordinates: 40°1′4″N 51°15′58″E / 40.01778°N 51.26611°E / 40.01778; 51.26611
Operator AIOC
Partners BP, Chevron, SOCAR, INPEX, Statoil, ExxonMobil, TPAO, Devon Energy, Itochu, ONGC Videsh Ltd
Field history
Discovery 1985
Start of production 1997
Peak year 2010
Current production of oil 684,000 barrels per day (~3.41×10^7 t/a)
Year of current production of oil 2012
Current production of gas 10×10^6 m3/d (350×10^6 cu ft/d)
Estimated oil in place 5,000 million barrels (~6.8×10^8 t)

Azeri–bayu–Guneshli (ACG) (Azerbaijani: Azəri-Çıraq-Günəşli) is a large complex of oil fields in the Caspian Sea, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) off the coast of Azerbaijan. An overall estimated area of the field is 432.4 square kilometres (167.0 sq mi).[1] It is operated by a BP-led consortium. The ACG fields have estimated recoverable reserves of about 5 to 6 billion barrels (790×10^6 to 950×10^6 m3) of petroleum. As of the end of 2005, the production rate from eight pre-drilled wells at the platform was approximately 240,000 barrels per day (38,000 m3/d).[2]

The peak of oil production, 835,000 barrels per day, was reached in third quarter of 2010. In the first quarter of 2012 oil production was about 710,000 barrels per day.[3]

BP reports that crude oil from ACG is exported through the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea and the Baku-Supsa Pipeline to Supsa in Georgia, as well as through the Baku-Novorossiysk Pipeline to Novorossiysk in Russia. It is also believed that there are large untapped gas reserves under ACG oilfields which can be used for the planned Nabucco pipeline.[4] Media reports indicate that according to American Consulting Association IHS CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates), the Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli field is the third largest field out of 20 listed. Total investment is estimated at $20 billion.[5] As of 2008 reports, oil coming from ACG field accounts to nearly 80% of Azerbaijan's total oil output[6] and is expected to bring Azerbaijan potentially $80 billion in profits[7]


Shareholders of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli offshore field include BP with 34.1367% of stakes, ChevronTexaco - 10.2814%, SOCAR - 10%, INPEX - 10%, Statoil - 8.5633%, ExxonMobil - 8.006%, TPAO - 6.75%, Devon Energy - 5.6262%, Itochu - 3.9205% and Hess - 2.7213%. Russia's Lukoil oil company pulled out of the project in 2003 selling all of its interest to INPEX. The deal was sealed for $1.354 billion.[8] On 23 November 2009, Devon Energy announced it would sell its share in ACG and other international projects and would mainly focus on its domestic operations.[9] On 29 March 2013, Hess sold its stake to ONGC for USD 1 billion.[10]

The production sharing agreement was signed by the parties on 20 September 1994 for development of the field for 30 years.[2][11][12] The day of the signing of PSA agreement is celebrated as The Day of Oilworkers in Azerbaijan.[1] BP with major stake in the ownership is leading the AIOC consortium.[13]

Stages of development[edit]

The development of the Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli field was split into three main stages which were to be completed by 2008:

  • 1st stage - development of Chirag field which was completed and became operational in 1997. It was also known as the Early Oil Project (EOP)
  • 2nd stage consisted of three phases:
    • Phase I - development of the Central Azeri platform - in operation since February 2005
    • Phase II - development of the West Azeri field - in operation since December 2005
    • Phase III - development of the East Azeri field - in operation since November 2006
  • 3rd stage - construction of deep-water Gunashli platform - in operation since April 2008[13]
Operation[14] Month and Year
Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) contract signed September 1994
Chirag development drilling August 1997
Chirag First Oil November 1997
Supsa pipeline operational February 1999
Water injection project 1999
Chirag drilling technology upgraded 2000
ACG Phase 1 Full Field Development August 2001
Azeri subsea drilling template June 2002
ACG Phase 2 Full Field Development Sept 2002
Chirag and Sangachal Terminal upgrade March 2003
Chirag - 200 million barrels (32,000,000 m3) May 2003
West Azeri template installed May 2003
Central Azeri Living Quarters arrive in Baku July 2003
Central Azeri drilling modules arrive in Baku Sept 2003
Central Azeri jacket completed March 2004
East Azeri Pre-Drilling Program begins June 2004
Central Azeri Gas pipeline installed and platform launched July 2004
Chirag - 250 million barrels (40,000,000 m3) August 2004
West Azeri Platform drilling modules arrive in Baku August 2004
Central Azeri Production, Drilling and Quarters Platform installed October 2004
Central Azeri Production starts February 2005
Azeri oil export starts March 2005
West Azeri production, drilling and quarters platform launched May 2005
Central Azeri casing-head gas delivered May 2005
Chirag - 300 million barrels (48,000,000 m3) June 2005
East Azeri drilling modules and quarters platform arrive in Baku June 2005
Central Azeri C&WP platform topsides launched July 2005
West Azeri topsides installed Sept 2005
Deepwater Gunashli Pre-Drilling Program starts December 2005
West Azeri production starts January 2006
East Azeri platform launched March 2006
C&WP injects first gas May 2006
Deep-water Gunashli drilling modules and quarters in Baku June 2006
East Azeri topsides installed July 2006
East Azeri production began October 2006


With 3 stages completed and 7 operational platforms functional, total production from Azeri-Chirag Guneshli is more than 1 million barrels (160,000 m3) a day.[11] During the first three quarters of 2009, over 224 million barrels (35.6×10^6 m3) of oil were produced from the Chirag, Central Azeri, West Azeri, East Azeri and Deep Water Gunashli platforms. As per BP's report, Chirag had 19 wells in operation (13 of which are oil producers and 6 - water injectors) with an overall production of 105,300 bbl/d (16,740 m3/d). Central Azeri (CA) had 18 wells (13 of which are oil producers and 5 - gas injectors) with production of 185,800 bbl/d (29,540 m3/d). West Azeri (WA) had 18 wells in operation (14 of which are oil producers and 4 - water injectors with production of 275,200 barrels per day (43,750 m3/d). East Azeri (EA) had 13 wells in operation (9 of which are oil producers and 4 - water injectors) with an overall production 139,400 barrels per day (22,160 m3/d) for the first three quarters of 2009. Deep Water Gunashli (DWG) had 17 wells (9 oil producers and 8 water injectors) in operation with production of 116,400 barrels per day (18,510 m3/d) of oil.[15]

Azerbaijan also gets approximately 10-11 million cubic meters of casing head gas per day extracted from ACG block. The gas is supplied by BP free of charge. Azerbaijan received over 1 billion cubic meters of gas from these fields in the 1st quarter of 2009. Current recovery comes to nearly 27 million cubic meters of casing head gas a day. A portion of gas is routed to national gas transportation system of Azerbaijan. Some is used as source of fuel at the platforms.

Casing head gas from platforms in central, western and eastern parts of Azeri field is supplied to Sangachal terminal via 28 inch subsea gas pipeline to distributive system of Azerigaz CJSC to use on the local market. A portion of casing head gas extracted at Chirag platform is directed to SOCAR's compressor station (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) to Oil Rocks field via 16 inch subsea gas pipeline. The rest of the gas from Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli platforms are pumped through intra field subsea gas pipeline to a platform for repeated pumping in a layer to support layer pressure.[16] As of September 2009, 164.2 million tonnes of oil and 37 billion cubic meters of associated gas have been produced and 80.3 million cubic meters of water and 13 billion cubic meters of gas have been injected into layers since the beginning of production in ACG fields in 1997.[17]

Routes of transportation[edit]

The oil from the ACG field was pumped to Sangachal terminal south of Baku and from there routed to foreign markets by Baku-Supsa pipeline, Baku–Novorossiysk pipeline and Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline.[11] An interactive map shows all current export routes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b SOCAR website Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli
  2. ^ a b Offshore Technology. Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Oil Field, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Vladimir Socor (2007-05-09). "Caspian gas plentiful now for Nabucco pipeline project". Eurasia Daily Monitor 4 (92) (The Jamestown Foundation). Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  5. ^ A.Badalova (2009-08-18). "Azerbaijani oil field third in IHS CERA ranking of world's 20 largest oil fields". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  6. ^ US Energy Information Administration. Azerbaijan
  7. ^ Akiner, Shirin (2004). The Caspian: politics, energy and security. RoutledgeCurzon. p. 129. 
  8. ^ "Lukoil completes sale of its interest in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli project to Inpex" (Press release). Lukoil. 2003-04-28. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  9. ^ A.Badalova (2009-11-23). "U.S. company sells its stake in largest oil project in Azerbaijan". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Luke (2013-03-29). "Hess completes sale of Azeri oilfield stake to ONGC Videsh". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  11. ^ a b c Tarel Gusep. Translated by Theresa Murphy (2006-01-13). "West Azeri platform of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore oilfield commences oil extraction". Caucaz europenews. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  12. ^ "BP reports over 1 bn barrel of oil production in Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field" 14 (8). Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  13. ^ a b BP website. The largest oil field under development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian basin
  14. ^ "History of Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Project - Baku (1994-2006)". Azerbaijan International. September 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  15. ^ BP Azerbaijan 3Q 2009 Business Update
  16. ^ "Azerbaijan willing to get more casing head gas from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields". Public Finance Monitoring Center. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  17. ^ "Recoverable reserves at Azerbaijan’s Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields estimated at nearly 1 billion tons". 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 

External links[edit]