Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli (ACG) Oil Fields

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The Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) fields are the largest complex of oil fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. Situated around 100 kilometres (km) east of Baku, they are operated by BP on behalf of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC). Discovered in the early 1980s, operations at the ACG field started in November 1997.[1] According to the online publication EPC Engineer, a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the ACG field in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian was signed in September 1994, the so-called 'Contract of the Century', to last 30 years between the AIOC and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). [2]

Collectively known as the Azeri Chirag Guneshli (ACG) oil field, the fields together were ranked in 2009 as the third largest field in the world in terms of production volume with 817,700 barrels per day (bpd). The ACG fields accounted for over 80 percent of total oil output in Azerbaijan in 2009.[3]

A leaked diplomatic cable from January 2009 reported that BP was seeing a 'continued increase of interest in ACG non-associated ('deep') gas from the government of Azerbaijan. BP thinks it possible that the government will seek to develop the deep gas since it can be done far more cheaply and incrementally, with the resulting gas being sold to Russia, Iran and Georgia'. [4]

The Fields


Chirag is an offshore production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform located 120km east of Baku in the Caspian Sea. The platform became operational in 1997. Average oil production is 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) as of August 2012.[1]

Central Azeri, West Azeri and East Azeri

An offshore PDQ situated 100km east of Baku, Central Azeri has a production capacity of 420,000 bpd. It has been in operation since 2005. West Azeri is an offshore PDQ located 100km of the coast of Baku and became operational in December 2005. It was constructed to produce oil from the western part of the oil field. East Azeri became operational later in November 2006.[1]

Deepwater Guneshli

This third phase of the development came into operation in April 2008. It can produce up to 320,000 bpd as of August 2012.[1]

Export Routes

The main export routes for crude oil from the ACG fields are:

  • 10 percent via the Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP) connecting the Caspian Sea with the Black Sea
  • 5 percent via railway connecting the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Azeri-Chirag-GuneshliBP, retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 ACG Oil FieldsEPC Engineer, retrieved 20 August 2012.
  3. "Analysis of Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Sector" United States Association for Energy Economics, 2011.
  4. ACGWikiLeaks, 15 January 2009.