Baku, September 20, AZERTAC
Just 2 days ago, on 18 September, the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field achieved yet another major milestone – the field produced its 4 billionth barrel of oil. This, indeed, is ACG’s truly remarkable gift to the celebration of its 27th anniversary and to Azerbaijan’s “Oil Workers’ Day” which we all are marking today. It also once again demonstrates that ACG is a world-class field.
20 September is a truly historic day and not only for Azerbaijan, but also for everyone involved in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry. 27 years ago, on 20 September 1994, the Government of Azerbaijan and a group of international oil companies representing six countries signed the ACG Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), which Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev rightfully named as the “Contract of the Century”.
This is the day when Azerbaijan embarked on its first independent energy agreement with foreign investors with confidence that it would enable the country to re-assume its key role in energy supply to the world markets.
The contract turned out to be much more than that – it became a turning point in the country’s history.
With its fantastic benefits for the people of Azerbaijan, huge revenues, tens of thousands of jobs, world-class infrastructure and skills, modern technology and industry leading health, safety and environmental standards, this first contract became a cornerstone in the country’s unprecedented revival and economic growth. It also turned the Caspian into one of the leading energy producing areas and technologically most advanced oil and gas development regions of the world.
The field started production from the Chirag platform on 7 November 1997. This great event was officially celebrated on the Chirag platform on 12 November by national leader Heydar Aliyev who described it as an achievement that had turned his vision to reality.
Since that time, Chirag has made quite a history. Now 24 years later, joined by seven modern, high tech platforms, the historic Chirag continues to play a big role in the safe, efficient and reliable production delivery of ACG.
Here are some key facts that illustrate ACG’s remarkable delivery better than any words:
$40 billion dollars of capital investment, 50 billion cubic meters of associated gas delivered to Azerbaijan, 3.7 billion barrels of oil carried via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, loaded on 4850 tankers and sent to the world markets, 140 Environmental Impact Assessments and 286 offshore, onshore and near-shore monitoring surveys conducted to protect the environment, $94 million dollars spent on sustainable development projects.
And as operator, bp remains committed to working closely with the government, SOCAR and other co-venturers to ensure ACG’s fantastic contribution to the country for the next three decades.
On this historic day we would also like to recognize Shah Deniz, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
It is well known that Shah Deniz is Azerbaijan’s biggest gas field. However, not everyone knows that as a project it is also one of the largest and most complex endeavours ever undertaken by the global oil and gas industry. It is truly a giant field and an amazing development project.
Anything about Shah Deniz is nothing less than amazing. When signing the PSA 25 years ago nobody could guess that just three years later - in 1999, the project would discover one of the biggest gas-condensate fields in the world.
With its world-class reservoir containing over 1 trillion cubic metres of gas and 2 billion barrels of condensate initially in place, it represents the largest gas discovery in bp’s over 110-year history.
And more than that. Very few projects have the ability to define the future of a country and change the energy landscape of a region. Shah Deniz is among them.
After ACG, Shah Deniz is the second largest foreign direct investment made in Azerbaijan and as such it has further strengthened the country’s economy. One could even say, ACG and Shah Deniz have played an equal role in Azerbaijan’s proud history of energy leadership bringing a tremendous boost that has underpinned the unprecedented revival, development and growth of the nation and the entire region over past two decades.
These two projects together in fact opened a new chapter in the country’s history laying the secure foundation of the economic renaissance which Azerbaijan experienced after regaining independence.
The 25th anniversary of Shah Deniz is also a historic milestone as it marks the first ever connection of Azerbaijan’s resources directly to European markets. Azerbaijan has been producing oil and gas for the world for about two centuries and in fact is the birthplace of the world oil industry, but it is the first time that it is directly linked to Europe and this has become possible through Shah Deniz as the gateway to the Southern Gas Corridor.
The success of ACG and Shah Deniz is a joint achievement of all parties involved and most importantly the achievement of the government of Azerbaijan and personally that of President Ilham Aliyev. These are world class development projects that could only be undertaken collectively and they were realized only through the huge efforts of the President of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan government, SOCAR, other regional and European governments, national and international organizations, co-venturer and contractor companies, communities, tens of thousands of people involved in the operations and the construction works in particular along the massive Southern Gas Corridor across many countries.
ACG and Shah Deniz have become two of the most successful partnerships in the world that deliver value to all stakeholders and will continue to bring benefits for many years to come.
20 September is the day to recognize the hard work, huge efforts, dedication, commitment and contribution of Azerbaijan’s oil workers and all those who have made these great projects such a tremendous success. It is also the day to celebrate the huge success of Azerbaijan’s farsighted energy strategy and that of its model international partnership.
Congratulations on the Oil Workers’ Day!
Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, bp’s vice president for the Caspian region, communications and advocacy
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