Shah Deniz Bravo platform; Source: BP

BP brings online another section of its largest gas discovery ever made

UK-headquartered energy giant BP has tucked a new milestone under its belt at a giant gas development off the coast of Azerbaijan by putting East North flank into production mode.

Shah Deniz Bravo platform; Source: BP

BP and its partners in the Shah Deniz consortium started the Shah Deniz 2 gas development, including its first commercial gas delivery to Turkey, in July 2018. According to the UK oil major, this project has now been expanded further with the start-up of production from the East North flank of the Shah Deniz field. The production from this section of the massive gas field began on February 13, 2024.

The East North flank encompasses five wells, two production manifolds, two new flowlines with a length of about 30 kilometers, and several subsea structures connected to the Shah Deniz reservoir. Currently, the existing Shah Deniz facilities’ production capacity is about 79 million standard cubic meters of gas per day or approximately 29 billion standard cubic meters per year.

Located on the deepwater shelf of the Caspian Sea, 70 km southeast of Baku, in water depths ranging from 50 to 500 meters, the BP-operated Shah Deniz field is considered to be one of the world’s largest gas-condensate fields and the largest gas discovery ever made by the UK oil major. Discovered in 1999, Shah Deniz is structured as an unincorporated Joint Venture (JV) partnership with BP at the helm as the operator of the JV.

Shah Deniz Stage 1 began operations in 2006, with the capacity to produce around 10 billion cubic meters of gas per annum and about 50,000 barrels a day of condensate. Shah Deniz Stage 1 was developed in seven years, despite the complexities of drilling the wells, building a platform, constructing an onshore terminal, and laying a 700 km South Caucasus pipeline (SCP) through Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Turkish border.

Furthermore, the existing Shah Deniz facilities were further de-bottlenecked in 2014, which increased their production capacity from 27.3 million standard cubic meters to 29.5 million standard cubic meters of gas per day. The field celebrated 100 billion cubic meters of total gas production in 2018, exactly 12 years after the start-up of commercial gas production and operations of the South Caucasus Pipeline.

When 2023 rolled in, BP and its co-venturers spent around $2.19 billion in operating expenditure and around $892 million in capital expenditure on Shah Deniz activities, the majority of which was associated with the Shah Deniz 2 project. During the year, the Shah Deniz field continued to provide gas to markets in Azerbaijan (Azerkontrakt), Georgia (GOGC), Türkiye (BOTAS), and BTC in multiple locations and to buyers in Europe.

The giant field produced about 26 billion standard cubic meters of gas and more than 4 million tons – about 35 million barrels – of condensate in 2023 from the Shah Deniz Alpha and Shah Deniz Bravo platforms.

BP is actively working on boosting the hydrocarbon resources at its assets in Azerbaijan. To this end, the oil major recently set a four-dimensional (4D) high-definition ocean bottom node seismic program in motion at its giant oilfield in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Azerbaijan.