Autumn 2004 (12.3)
BP Current Developments
BTC Pipeline Moves Ahead
BP Communications Manager
1997, the Chirag platform has produced 255 million barrels of
oil. Chirag has operated with virtually no interruption since
that time. On August 3, we set a new production record from Chirag
of 154,000 bopd as a result of recent drilling successes, positive
impact of water injection and the completion of the planned shutdown
work in July. We continue to be on track to deliver in excess
of 125,000 barrels per day for the full year.
The key milestones of the past few months include: (1) completion
of the Central Azeri (CA) jacket installation, (2) installation
of the new West Azeri (WA) pre-drilling template, (3) re-commencement
of WA pre-drilling activities, (4) launch and start of offshore
installation of the Compressor and Water Injection Platform (C&WP)
jacket, (5) start of East Azeri (EA) jacket fabrication in Baku,
(6) start of the first 2004 equipment deliveries via the canal
system and the (7) arrival of drilling facilities for the WA
production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform with six drilling
modules and the derrick.
The ACG project currently
employs more than 9,500 Azerbaijan nationals across all its construction
sites in Baku. This, by far, exceeds the initial job target for
Azerbaijan nationals. The construction work progress is on track
for the First Oil from Central Azeri (CA) to be early 2005 with
facilities construction more than 97 percent complete.
The fully completed jacket for the Compressor and Water Injection
Platform (C&WP) sailed away on July 31, from the Heydar Aliyev
Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) yard for its permanent
location in the Azeri field. It was launched on August 1 and
is now being installed on the seabed.
The jacket was fully built within the country, using local construction
infrastructure including the BDJF facilities. This is the second
largest structure after the Central Azeri production and drilling
platform jacket to be installed in the Caspian Sea. The jacket
has 12 piles. The total weight of these piles, which are each
128 meters long, is 6,120 tons. The total weight of the jacket
including the floatation tanks is 13,250 tons. The height of
the jacket is 143 meters installed in a water depth of 128 meters.
Central Azeri (CA)
Mechanical completion of the CA topsides was finished by the
end of May and pre-commissioning and commissioning is nearing
completion. The sail-away is currently scheduled for the end
of September when the topsides will be floated over the jacket
as a single unit. As soon as the STB-1 is completed, the C&WP
jacket installation works will return to the BDJF dock for some
modifications to enable it to carry the 15,000 ton topsides.
The last of the six main drilling modules for the West Azeri
(WA) production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform arrived
in Baku in mid-August from the Netherlands where they were built
by Mercon, AIOC's drilling modules construction contractor. The
total dry weight of these modules including the drilling derrick
is approximately 4,500 tons. The integration into the WA topsides
and commissioning will take place at Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater
Jacket Factory (BDJF) yard.
Once erected, the Drilling Modules for the West Azeri platform
will be comprised of three main components-the Drilling Support
Module (DSM), the Drilling Equipment Set (DES) and the Drilling
Derrick. The modules are designed to provide drilling from 48
slots during the operational life of the West Azeri PDQ platform.
Above: The Jacket of the Central
Azeri C&WP (Compresor and Water Injection Platform) being
launched out to sea.
The Sangachal Terminal Expansion Program to build one of the
world's largest terminals is on schedule. Activities related
to First Oil are 94 percent completed. Currently, the program
employs more than 1,500 persons, the majority of which are from
villages and towns of the Garadagh district.
BTC construction activities are continuing on schedule. Today,
we have major activities in 17 construction sites along the entire
BTC route between Baku, Azerbaijan and Ceyhan, Turkey. The project
has been spending some $4 million a day since the commencement
of construction activities and this will continue through this
year until the completion of the pipeline in the first half of
Today the project hires more than 21,000 employees. Of these
4,170 are working in Azerbaijan and 80 percent are Azerbaijan
By August 8, 2004, 1,695 km of the construction corridor had
been prepared across the three countries, with 1,583 km of pipe
placed ready for welding, 1,487 km of pipe welded, more than
990 km of land trenched and 875 km of pipe lowered in the ground.
In total we have backfilled about 798 km and reinstated over
310 km of land in the three countries. Overall BTC construction
works are about 75 percent complete.
In Azerbaijan the pipe-laying is on schedule. Overall progress
is 80 percent complete. The construction team has successfully
completed the hydro testing of first 47 km of the pipeline from
the Sangachal Terminal to KP47. Good progress on major crossings
continues to be maintained along the route. Of the total 443
km of the pipeline length in this country, 427 km of the Right
of Way (ROW) have been cleared, 425 km have been strung, and
420 km of pipe have been welded, 300 km have been trenched, 285
km of pipe have been lowered in the ground, and 262 km have been
backfilled. About 175 km of land have already been reinstated.
Construction activities on the BTC Head Pump station in the Sangachal
Terminal are progressing on schedule with over 85 percent of
the works already complete. The completed work includes pump
foundation works and steel structure works for the buildings.
The fabrication works for the 14-meter high pump shelter building
are nearing completion. The Central Azeri section of the BTC
Head Pump station has already installed the first three main
oil export pumps. Additional two pumps will be delivered to Sangachal
this year for early installation as part of the BTC West and
East Azeri works.
Civil and outfitting work has continued at all Spie Capag/Petrofac
joint venture facilities locations. Works at the Pigging Station
(80 percent complete) and the Pump Station PS-A2 (40 percent
complete) near Yaldilli in the Yevlakh district, and at the Intermediate
Pigging Station IP-A1 (65 percent complete) near Kurdamir are
progressing on schedule with 70 percent of the work for all the
above ground installations in Azerbaijan already complete.
In Georgia the pipe-laying and construction of pump stations
are progressing on schedule. Overall progress is 74 percent complete.
Of the total pipeline length of 249 km more than 245 km of the
ROW have been cleared, 238 km have been strung, and 220 km have
been welded. In addition, some 160 km of land have been trenched,
pipe has been lowered along 142 km of pipe and backfilled in
125 km of land. More than 55 km of land have already been reinstated.
In July 2004, we received official notification from the Georgian
Ministry of the Environment of a two-week suspension on the section
of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline 15 km from Borjomi. The Georgian
government undertook a review of the security arrangements for
the pipeline in the area. BTC complied with the notice, and agreed
to additional measures with the Government of Georgia. Construction
work began again there on August 6.
In Turkey, BOTAS, the Turkish state-owned construction company,
continues to take actions to ensure on-time delivery of the pipe-laying
and pump stations construction activities. By the end of July,
74 percent had been completed. BOTAS have cleared about 1,023
km of the 1,076 km long ROW of the pipeline and strung pipe the
length of about 920 km and welded 850 km of pipe. In addition,
they have trenched some 534 km of land, lowered 448 km of pipe
in the ground and backfilled over 410 km of land. About 83 km
of land have been reinstated.
The joint commission led by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime-Minister
Abid Sharifov and the Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler continue
to review progress of the Turkish section on a regular basis
and agree on recommended actions. As part of these reviews, BOTAS
has committed to mobilizing an additional pipeline spread in
Lot A near the Georgian border.
BTC is a major project, which will make a positive difference
by bringing significant benefits to the region. By avoiding the
Bosphorus it will help relieve the inevitable growth in oil-related
traffic and associated environmental risks. It will create substantial
revenues for transit countries, and will help strengthen economic
and political links between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and the
The third Shah Deniz pre-drill well was suspended on July 15,
with the results being positive. This completed the Shah Deniz
Stage 1 Pre-drilling Program, which began when the Istiglal semi-submersible
drilling-rig sailed away in March 2003. Since that time, the
Shah Deniz drilling team has successfully set the 15-slot seafloor-drilling
template, drilled and suspended the three planned pre-drilling
wells and discovered an additional gas reservoir below previously
These three wells have been some of the most challenging BP has
drilled globally. The drilling team has been able to achieve
some 436 rig-days without a serious accident and the entire Stage
1 pre-drilling campaign been completed within 15 months, which
is about three months ahead of the original plan.
BP will continue to analyze the data about the quality and productivity
of the entire reservoir. This will also enable us to better plan
for future drilling operations from the platform after TPG500,
which is commissioned in the middle of 2006.
The completed hull sections of TPG500 platform were loaded out
in late July from Singapore. A ceremony was held on July 26,
in the fabrication yard of Keppel Fels, the Shah Deniz contractor
for the out of country fabrication of the platform hull strips,
to celebrate this important milestone. The platform strips are
now on a two-month journey from Singapore to the Black Sea where
they will be offloaded and towed through the Russian canal system
to their final destination-Baku.
The hull sections will be transported by a heavy-lift vessel
(Mighty Servant III), operated by Dockwise. The platform hull
comprises 15,000 tons of steel and is formed of 12 block sections
and over 680 steel panels. The hull strips have been completed
within the 12-month timeframe, and with a safety achievement
of more than four million man-hours without a lost time incident.
The fabrication of the accommodation block for 120 personnel
has also been lift completed by Keppel Fels safely and on schedule,
and will be shipped separately using a heavy vessel.
The TPG500 will be deployed in the Shah Deniz gas-condensate
field in the Caspian Sea, approximately 100 km to the south of
Baku, Azerbaijan. Delivery of first gas to Turkey, the primary
sales market for the Shah Deniz project, is targeted for the
fourth quarter of 2006.
In Azerbaijan, 62 percent of the total linepipe has already been
delivered for the Azerbaijan section of SCP. Approximately 38,000
joints of pipe will be needed for the Azerbaijan section (442
km). Transportation of pipe shipments will continue until the
end of this year. The pipe is 42" in diameter and is supplied
by Sumitomo Corporation which is providing all SCP pipe for both
Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The pipe joints are being stored in the Yevlakh, Kurdamir and
Ganja pipe yards. The pipe will be transferred to the Right of
Way (ROW) upon completion of the BTC pipeline when physical construction
activities for SCP are planned to commence.
Opportunities to lay SCP linepipe at the same time as BTC are
being done at specific locations (such as mud volcano ridge,
the Garabagh Canal, the Jeyrankechmaz river and other crossings),
thus minimizing environmental impact or exposure to geographical
hazard-with two of the six river crossings in Azerbaijan already
Approximately 360 people are currently involved in the SCP construction
activities here in Azerbaijan, 263 of the employees are Azerbaijan
BP in the Community
In June, BP officially launched a project to support the internally
displaced persons (IDP) community in Khirdalan near Baku. The
project, which involves three greenhouses and a sewing workshop,
is aimed at improving social conditions by creating sustainable
income opportunities for them.
The project cost $72,407 and has been fully funded by BP. Its
direct beneficiaries will be the 170 IDPs from the Gubadli and
The greenhouses and sewing workshop have provided jobs for more
than 30 people so far, enabling the community to receive immediate
benefits. In addition, the project will indirectly target another
53 families living in the neighborhood.
The sewing workshop started its activity by manufacturing leather
goods after the women were trained thoroughly so they could create
high quality products, which are sold directly from the workshop.
This summer the Sangachal Terminal Expansion Project (STEP) launched
the First Azerbaijan School Football Tournament on behalf of
the STEP sections of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
(BTC), South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and Shah Deniz projects.
The three-day tournament involved all 23 local high school football
teams in the Garadagh district. These teams represent 11 communities
living in the Garadagh district. Some of the settlements like
Lokbatan, Sahil and Alat had several schools participating.
The teams were divided into three age groups and 152 total number
of games played. The tournament used the sports facilities located
in the Sahil, Sangachal and Umid settlements in the Garadagh
district as well as in STEP's own sports ground.
Training and Business
BP and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private
sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with
the Azerbaijan Bank Training Centre (ABTC) in July, awarding
grants for a new joint project to provide technical assistance
for the development of SME (small and medium-sized enterprise)
business services in Azerbaijan in support of local business
The total value of the project is $677,250, of which IFC contributed
$270,450 and BP the remaining $267,300. The ABTC will provide
an in-kind contribution worth $93,600 for general management,
facilities, equipment and administrative support services. In
addition, the project is expected to generate $45,900 total revenues
during its implementation, which will be used to cover further
expenses. The project duration is 24 months, starting from June
The project is designed to create a pool of professional local
trainers, whose involvement will initially be on a co-facilitation
basis working together with foreign trainers and will then gradually
increase to the point when they will be able to take over and
independently provide the services themselves.
BP, on behalf of its partners in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG),
Shah Deniz, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus Pipeline
(SCP) projects, hosted a ceremony on August 20 to announce the
completion of a seven-week intensive training program for a group
of national firefighters. The group included 32 professional
firefighters-16 from the Sangachal Terminal and 16 from Azerbaijan's
State Fire Fighting Department.
These firefighters will ultimately form the highly skilled Sangachal
Terminal Emergency Response Team. The training was conducted
at OTI's Technical Training Center in Guzdek and the Sangachal
The training exposed the firefighters to conditions of heat,
smoke and live fire and required a significant level of physical
fitness. The trainees learned how to deal with large flammable
liquid fires, confined space entry and rescue of victims from
road traffic accidents. The training program proved a good opportunity
for BP's national staff to gain fire and rescue competencies,
which are fully consistent with the world's best practice. The
program will not only enhance BP's emergency response capabilities
in the Sangachal Terminal, which will be one of the world's largest
terminals, but also help strengthen the skills of Azerbaijan's
professional firefighting personnel to international standards.
The Azerbaijan Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers
(SPE) has been granted the 2004 SPE President's Award for Section
Excellence. This prestigious award is granted to one of the six
honored with this year's President's Award, among hundreds of
SPE national sections throughout the world. It recognizes the
exceptional efforts made by the Azerbaijan Section in member
programs, technology dissemination, co-operation with other civic
and professional organizations and development of Azerbaijan's
petroleum engineering, in general.
The Azerbaijan Section of SPE was established in 1997. The award
will be presented in Houston, Texas, at the
SPE President's Luncheon at the George R. Brown Convention Center
on September 29, 2004.
(12.3) Autumn 2004.
© Azerbaijan International 2004. All rights reserved.
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