First Topsides Successfully Installed at Deepwater Gunashli

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) says that on July 26 2007 the topsides of Phase 3 Drilling, Utilities and Quarters Platform (DUQ) were safely installed offshore onto the jacket in the Deepwater Gunashli part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field.

This follows the successful sail away of the 15,656 tonnes topsides from the Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jacket Factory (BDJF) fabrication yard on July 25.

The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Chevron (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10.,0%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), Hess (2.7%).

The DUQ jacket, which was also built at BDJF, sailed away on April 9 and was launched offshore and docked onto pin piles at the template location in Deepwater Gunashli two days later. The height of this jacket is about 190 meters.

The DUQ platform is located at 175 meters water depth on the Deepwater Gunashli field. First oil from Deepwater Gunashli is planned to be achieved during 2008. This will ultimately raise the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli offshore facilities' total oil production capacity to over one million barrels per day.

The last topsides module to be installed for Phase 3 is for the Production, Compression, Water Injection and Utilities (PCWU) platform. The construction of these topsides is now approximately 98 per cent complete and we plan to install them offshore during September 2007 following full completion of the DUQ topsides installation.

Bruce Luberski, BP's Vice-President, Major Projects, said: "This is a major step towards achieving this year's extremely busy work plan. We have already completed the pipelay barge refurbishment, installation of the Phase 3 north and south subsea manifolds on DWG and the DWG Production, Compression, Water Injection and Utilities platform jacket. We are now looking forward to equally safe and successful installation of the last topsides in September and are also preparing for execution of a large modification to increase gas and water handling at Central Azeri. In addition, we plan to complete the produced water project pipelay.

"In all these activities safety of people is our first priority, so we are exceedingly satisfied that the offshore installation works have achieved outstanding safety results. We are proud that all the work was executed to BP's high safety standards, resulting in no harm to people. Our project team and contractors have once again demonstrated their commitment to performing to BP's and co-venturers' high safety expectations. We are also satisfied that the fabrication and installation maximized the employment of local infrastructure, thus enabling us to substantially increase the local content of our activities."