Winter 2002 (10.4)
BP Current Developments
Progress on Azeri Project
by Tamam Bayatly
During 2002 BP Azerbaijan safety performance has been excellent
with only a single case of a person being away from work. By
the end of 2002, personnel had worked over 10 million man - hours.
Since the start of the Construction Phase of the Azeri project
which was sanctioned in August 2001 (Central Azeri) and September
2002 (East and West Azeri), BP has been working very closely
with all their contractors to maintain this excellent safety
record. In October the existing Sangachal Terminal and Northern
Route Export Pipeline (via Russia) celebrated five years (more
than 2 million man-hours) without a single day away from work.
In December 2002, the Terminal Expansion Project celebrated 2
(left): BP sponsored Azerbaijan's
Junior Chess Team that competed in the European Championship
in Spain. Azerbaijani youth won three gold medals.
Right: Winners of the 4th SOCAR Cup Tennis
BP delivered increased production from Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater
Gunashli (ACG) base operations by 7 percent as a result of expanding
and streamlining the existing oil and gas facilities on Chirag
and Western Export Route facilities. In 2002, the average production
rate from the Chirag platform increased to 128,000 barrels of
oil per day (bpd) compared to the 127,000 bpd target. In November,
the average production rate increased to133,225 bpd.
In 2002, AIOC partners and Azerbaijan lifted 42 tanker-loads
(5.65 million tons) from Supsa, including seven tanker-loads
(0.95 million tons) profit oil, which has been sent to world
markets via the Western Route Export Pipeline system (via Georgia).
In addition, 2.3 million tons of oil (including SOCAR non-ACG
oil) has been transported this year via the Northern Route Export
system, filling 20 tanker-loads, including 19 tank ships with
SOCAR oil from Novorossiysk.
Azeri Project Making
Recently, the Central Azeri (Phase 1) and East and West Azeri
(Phase 2) projects have been combined into one project under
one management as the Azeri Field Development Project. These
works are on track, with Central Azeri 50 percent completed by
the end of 2002. The project employs 3,500 Azerbaijan nationals
through its construction works, and may eventually employ more
than 5,000 people. More than 30 local companies are already participating
in BP's construction activities. Successful training of local
personnel continues to exceed expectations, with some of the
contractors' training programs nearing completion ahead of schedule.
Work has also commenced on the West Azeri template, which is
due for completion in the second quarter of 2003.
(Left): Central Azeri construction
works are 50 percent complete and currently employ 3,500 Azerbaijan
Center: Planting trees in Sangachal by the
non-governmental organization (NGO) Karvan within a BP-awarded
Right: Dr. Safar Ashurov of Azerbaijan's Institute
of Archaeology and Ethnography carefully digs into the Borsunlu
Burial Mounds discovered along the Azerbaijan section of the
BTC pipeline route.
The Azeri Pre-drilling Program comprises three main sub-programs,
referred to as Central Azeri (CA) Pre-drilling, West Azeri (WA)
Pre-drilling and East Azeri (EA) Pre-drilling. The purpose of
the pre-drilling operations is to have a number of wells in place
prior to the permanent platform installations so that production
from each field can begin as early as possible, providing revenues
to Azerbaijan and the companies participating in the project.
Second, it will provide data about the geology and distribution
of hydrocarbons prior to production drilling from the platforms.
The CA pre-drilling program will use the Dada Gorgud to drill
12 wells: 10 production wells, one cuttings re-injection well
and one gas injection well. The program commenced in March 2002
and is expected to be complete by mid-August 2003. Wells 1 to
4 are already completed, and Well 5 is currently being drilled.
Also complete are the top-hole sections (30- and 20-inch casing)
for all of the remaining seven wells.
In October 2002, the Azeri Development Project awarded the following
main construction contracts: (1) McDermott Caspian Contractors,
Inc. (MCCI) / SPS Joint Venture for the fabrication of the West
and East Azeri platform topsides at the SPS facility in Azerbaijan;
(2) the Azfen / Tekfen / AMEC (ATA) Consortium for the fabrication
of the Compression and Water Injection Platform (C&WP) topsides
at the Kaspmorbourstroy facility in Azerbaijan; (3) Pharmadule
Emtunga AB International for the engineering, procurement and
fabrication of the West Azeri and East Azeri Living Quarters
in Sweden; (4) Bouygues Offshore Construction / SPS Joint Venture
for the fabrication of the West and East Azeri platform jackets
at the SPS facility in Azerbaijan; (5) KCA Deutag of the UK for
the Engineering and Procurement of West and East Azeri Drilling
Modules; (6) an extension of the existing contract with McDermott
Caspian Contractors for the installation of the 28-inch gas pipeline
from the Azeri Field to the Sangachal Terminal; (7) the Azpetrol
and Eupec Pipecoatings Joint Venture Alliance for the pipe coating
of the 28-inch gas export pipeline at the Black City area of
Baku; and (8) Kvaerner Process Systems Canada to provide the
gas dewpoint control plant for Sangachal terminal.
Full Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) were
conducted for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project,
followed by a two-month disclosure and consultation period with
a wide circle of interested stakeholders, including national
and local authorities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations),
national and international experts, media and local communities.
This process sought feedback from the general public.
The ESIAs were submitted in mid-2002 to government bodies in
the three countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey) for approval.
The documents describe the existing environmental and social
conditions along the pipeline route, the design, construction
and operation of the lines, the predicted effects of these activities
and the measures that will be taken to prevent, minimize and
mitigate any potential adverse effects on the ecology and population.
The ESIAs for Azerbaijan and Turkey were approved by the respective
governments in October and by Georgia on November 30.
The project remains firmly within the original budget of $2.95
billion and is scheduled to begin construction during the first
quarter of 2003 simultaneously in all three countries. This schedule
provides for the pipeline to be completed in time to enable the
start of first oil transportation from the ACG Azeri Project
Significant progress has been achieved within the Main Construction
Works for the Sangachal Terminal. General design work by Kellogg
Brown & Root in London and Baku and building design by Tekfen/Azfen
in Istanbul continue, construction of the access road is complete
and the fire water support system is currently under construction.
Ongoing work includes construction of the foundation of the storage
tanks, as well as erection of the main process facilities and
utilities areas. More than 13,000 local workers are registered
in the databases of three BP information / employment centers
at Sahil, Sangachal village and the Umid refugee camp. To date,
more than 1,000 Azerbaijan nationals have been employed as part
of the Main Construction Works.
The NGO Karvan, which was awarded the BP Biodiversity award,
has begun a tree-planting program at Sangachal Terminal to enhance
local and regional biodiversity. The program involves the planting
of at least 3,400 trees within the terminal land acquisition
area. The Azeri Project Sangachal Terminal Expansion program
has contributed to this project by supplying manual labor (50
persons) to assist in tree planting. The personnel were recruited
from the towns of Umid and Sangachal. To date, 1,200 trees have
Azerbaijan's junior chess team, which is sponsored by BP, won
three gold medals at the European Championship held in Spain.
Two of the gold medalists were brother and sister Shahriyar Mammadyarov,
18, and Turkan Mammadyarova, 14, who come from a family renowned
for its prowess at chess. Eltaj Safarli, a 10-year-old student
from the Baku Chess School, also came home with a gold medal.
In addition to sponsoring Azerbaijan's participation in the European
and World Championships, BP has made computer donations to 10
chess schools and to famous chess players such as Teymur Rajabov
and Vugar Hashimov. BP has also supported several chess tournaments
A team of archeologists sponsored by BP has made a series of
remarkable finds along the Azerbaijan section of the BTC pipeline
route. Beginning in 2001, as part of a BP initiative, the team
began surveying the route on foot, averaging 10-15 km per day.
Their painstaking efforts have already enabled them to identify
90 sites of archaeological interest along the pipeline route.
Three of the sites warranted special attention: a burial mound
complex discovered in Borsunlu village in the Goranboy District,
a group of barrow-type graves at Zayamchay in the Shamkir District
and a medieval settlement near the village of Gyrag Kasamanli
in the Agstafa District.
The mounds discovered in Borsunlu date back to the end of the
2nd millennium BC and the beginning of the 1st millennium BC.
They are now being surveyed by scientists from the Azerbaijan
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (AIAE). Coffin and burial
mound-type graves are characteristic of this region and of the
ancient Turkic-Albanian civilization that once dominated the
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