Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli (ACG, Azerbaijani:
Azəri-Çıraq-Günəşli) or Azeri–Chirag–Deepwater Gunashli is a
complex of oil fields in the Caspian Sea, about 120 kilometres
(75 mi) off the coast of Azerbaijan. It consist of Azeri and
Chirag oil fields, and the deepwater portion of the Gunashli oil
field. An overall estimated area of the development is 432.4 square
kilometres (167.0 sq mi). It is developed by the
Azerbaijan International Operating Company, a consortium of
international oil companies, and operated by BP on behalf of the
consortium. The ACG fields have estimated recoverable reserves of
about 5 to 6 billion barrels (790 to 950 million cubic metres) 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).
The peak of oil production, 835,000 barrels per day
(132,800 m3/d), was reached in third quarter of 2010. In the
first quarter of 2012 oil production was about 710,000 barrels per day
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. Media reports indicate that according to American
Consulting Association IHS CERA (Cambridge Energy Research
Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli is the third largest
oil-field development out of 20 listed. Total investment is
estimated at US$20 billion. As of 2008 reports, oil coming
from ACG field accounts to nearly 80% of Azerbaijan's total oil
output and is expected to bring
Azerbaijan potentially $80 billion
4 Routes of transportation
5 See also
7 External links
Formation of the
Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli development started in the
beginning of 1990s. In January 1991, the Azerbaijani government
announced separate international tenders of exploration rights for
Azeri, Chirag, and Gunashli fields. In June 1991, an consortium of
Amoco, Unocal, British Petroleum, Statoil, McDermott, and Ramco was
formed for a development of Azeri field.
Azerbaijan was represented in
the consortium by SOCAR. Negotiations were expanded to include all
three fields. After
Heydar Aliyev became President of
1993, talks with foreign companies were stopped and
Lukoil was invited
to the consortium. Negotiations resumed in 1994. The production
sharing agreement was signed by the parties on 20 September 1994 for
development of the fields for 30 years. The day of
the signing of PSA agreement is celebrated as The Day of Oilworkers in
At the first stage, the consortium started development drilling of the
Chirag field in August 1997. First oil was produced in November
1997. This development stage was also known as the Early Oil
Project (EOP). Originally, produced oil was exported through the
Novorossiysk pipeline. A contract on the oil transportation via
Russia to the
Black Sea port of
Novorossiysk was signed on 18 February
1996. The oil transportation through the pipeline started on 25
October 1997. For the diversification of the export routes,
construction of the Baku–
Supsa Pipeline was agreed in 1996. The
pipeline became operational in 1998 and was officially inaugurated
1999. At the Chirag field, the water injection project was
implemented in 1999 and the drilling technology was upgraded in
Lukoil pulled out of the project in 2003 selling all of its interest
to INPEX. The deal was sealed for $1.354 billion.
The second stage of the development consisted of the development of
the Azeri field. The development of Azeri field started in 2002.
Central Azeri living quarters arrived in Baku in July 2003 and
drilling modules arrived in Baku in July 2003. The Central Azeri
jacket was completed in March 2004. To accommodate addition oil, the
Sangachal Terminal was upgraded in March 2003. After installing the
Central Azeri gas pipeline, the Central Azeri platform was launched in
July 2004. The platform was installed by October 2004, and production
started in February 2005. The Central Azeri compression and water
injection platform topsides was launched in July 2005. It injected
first gas in May 2006
West Azeri drilling modules arrive in Baku in August 2004 and the
platform launched in May 2005. The platform's topsides was installed
in September 2005 and production started in January 2006. East
Azeri drilling modules and quarters arrived in Baku in June 2005 and
the platform was launched in March 2006. The topside was installed in
March 2006 and the production began in October 2006.
The Deepwater Gunashli pre-drilling program started in December 2005.
Drilling modules and quarters arrived in Baku in June 2006. The
paltform became operational in April 2008.
On 23 November 2009, Devon Energy announced it would sell its share in
ACG. On 29 March 2013, Hess sold its stake to ONGC for
On September 14 2017, The
Azerbaijan Government and the State Oil
Company of the Republic of
Azerbaijan (SOCAR), together with BP,
Chevron, INPEX, Statoil, ExxonMobil, TP, ITOCHU and ONGC Videsh have
signed an agreement to extend the PSA for ACG fields until 2049.
Shareholders of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli development include BP with
35.78% of stakes,
Chevron Corporation (10.28%), Inpex
TPAO (6.75%), Itochu
(4.3%) and ONGC Videsh (2.72%). BP with major stake in the ownership
is leading the AIOC consortium.
Under a 2017 agreement to extend the production sharing to 2049,
interest of SOCAR, the Azeri state energy company, would increase to
25% while interests of other shareholders would be reduced.
With 3 stages completed and 7 operational platforms
functional, total production from
Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli is more
than 1 million barrels (160,000 m3) a day. 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.
Azerbaijan also gets approximately 10–11 million cubic metres
(350–390 million cubic feet) 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
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
are pumped through intra field subsea gas pipeline to a platform for
repeated pumping in a layer to support layer pressure. 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.
Routes of transportation
The oil from the ACG field was pumped to
Sangachal terminal south of
Baku and from there routed to foreign markets by Baku-
Novorossiysk pipeline and Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline.
An interactive map shows all current export routes.
Shah Deniz gas field
South Caucasus Pipeline
^ a b
Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli Archived October 16,
2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b Offshore Technology. Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Oil Field,
Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan
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.
^ A.Badalova (2009-08-18). "Azerbaijani oil field third in IHS CERA
ranking of world's 20 largest oil fields". Trend News Agency.
^ US Energy Information Administration.
Azerbaijan Archived November
14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Akiner, Shirin (2004). The Caspian: politics, energy and security.
RoutledgeCurzon. p. 129.
^ Croissant, Michael P.; Aras, Bülent (1999). Oil and Geopolitics in
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^ 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
^ "BP reports over 1 bn barrel of oil production in
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Azerbaijan International. September 2006. Retrieved
^ a b "Transport routes of Azerbaijani oil (Baku-Novorossiysk,
Azerbaijan Portal. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
Lukoil completes sale of its interest in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
project to Inpex" (Press release). Lukoil. 2003-04-28. Archived from
the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
^ a b BP website. The largest oil field under development in the
Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian basin
^ A.Badalova (2009-11-23). "U.S. company sells its stake in largest
oil project in Azerbaijan". Trend News Agency. Retrieved
^ Johnson, Luke (2013-03-29). "Hess completes sale of Azeri oilfield
stake to ONGC Videsh". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. Retrieved
Azerbaijan Government and co-venturers sign amended and
restated Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli PSA". Retrieved 8 October
^ Bagirova, Nailia; Bousso, Ron (14 September 2017). "BP-led group
extends Azeri oil "contract of the century"". Reuters. Retrieved 14
Azerbaijan 3Q 2009 Business Update Archived November 23, 2010, at
the Wayback Machine.
Azerbaijan willing to get more casing head gas from
Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields". Public Finance Monitoring Center.
2009-05-05. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved
^ "Recoverable reserves at Azerbaijan's Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields
estimated at nearly 1 billion tons". Today.az. 2009-09-02. Retrieved
Production Sharing Agreement for the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field
Image showing ACG fields
Energy in Azerbaijan
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Shallow Water Absheron Peninsula
Trans-Caspian Oil Transport System
Baku Oil Refinery Plant
North Absheron Operating Company
Nobel Oil Group
Ministry of Energy of the