Partners approve Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli expanded development phase

Partners in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil project off Azerbaijan approved the 31 billion kroner ($3.5 billion) first phase of expanded development, said Statoil AS.

HOUSTON, Aug. 31 -- Partners in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil project off Azerbaijan approved the 31 billion kroner ($3.5 billion) first phase of expanded development, said Statoil AS.

Statoil owns an 8.56% interest in the BP PLC-operated project, which is now producing more than 120,000 b/d.

Phase I includes a production platform with design capacity of 400,000 b/d, a 30-in. oil pipeline to land, an extension of the Sangachal land terminal, and a gas and water injection platform.

Production start-up from that first phase is expected in first quarter 2005; plateau production from the field after phase I is complete is expected to hit 500,000 b/d. When fully developed -- by 2010 -- the development could produce 1 million b/d.

BP estimates the field's recoverable oil reserves are 4.6 billion bbl, said Statoil.

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