BP and its partners have committed $6 billion (£4.6bn) of fresh investment to expand a major oil project in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.
It is for the Azeri Central East (ACE) project, the next stage of development of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oilfield complex, which includes a new offshore platform and facilities designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
It will also consist of new in-field pipelines to transfer oil and gas from the ACE platform to the existing ACG Phase 2 export pipelines for transportation to the onshore Sangachal Terminal.
The project is expected to achieve first production in 2023 and produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime as well as create up to 8,000 jobs.
It is the first major investment decision by the ACG partnership since the extension of the production sharing agreement (PSA) to 2049 was agreed in 2017.
More than $36 billion (£27.7bn) has been invested into the development of the ACG area since the original PSA was signed in 1994.
BP has a 30.37% stake in and operates the ACG, with partners including SOCAR/AzACG (25%), Chevron (9.57%), INPEX (9.31%), Equinor (7.27%), ExxonMobil (6.79%), TPAO (5.73%), ITOCHU (3.65%) and ONGC Videsh Limited (2.31%).
Gary Jones, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “Today’s announcement supports the long term production plans we set for ACG when we extended the PSA. It demonstrates our commitment to work with SOCAR and Azerbaijan’s Government to continue to unlock ACG’s resources more efficiently and competitively.”