BP has completed the floatover installation of the new ACE platform deck on the pre-installed jacket in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea, completing a journey of more than 10 years from concept to realisation.

The British supermajor’s vice president for the Caspian region, Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, said in a social media post that the Azeri Central East (ACE) platform is “a true engineering marvel. With cutting edge technology and a commitment to sustainability, this state-of-the-art oil platform will redefine industry standards”.

ACE is a $6 billion development that includes a new offshore platform designed to process up to 100,000 barrels per day of oil.

The output is intended to reverse the slow natural decline in production at the existing BP-led Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) fields.

Earlier this month, Hungary’s MOL Group that holds an almost 10% stake in ACG said its share of production at the project fell by 1500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter as a result of baseline decline and a change in the company’s entitlement share.

Total ACG production for the first half of this year averaged 375,000 barrels of oil per day compared with 424,000 bpd a year earlier, according to Azeri news agency Trend. The oil is being exported to European nations and other destinations via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that ends with a marine terminal on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey.

According to BP, the ACE project is expected to achieve first production in early 2024 and produce up to 300 million barrels of oil over its lifetime.

The ACE deck weighs about 19,600 tonnes and encompasses oil and gas processing facilities, an integrated drilling rig, a gas compressor and living quarters.

Prior to sailaway, the topsides unit was mostly commissioned and operationally tested to minimise activities required for offshore installation and start-up, BP said.

This deck was built by Azeri-Turkish joint venture Azfen in the Bayil fabrication yard near Baku using available local infrastructure and resources.

The new platform has 48 slots to drill development and injection wells, and is located midway between the existing Central Azeri and East Azeri platforms in a water depth of about 140 metres.

BP operates ACG with a stake of more than 30%. It is partnered by Azeri state oil player Socar, MOL, US supermajor ExxonMobil, India’s ONGC Videsh, Japan’s Inpex and Itochu, Norway’s Equinor and Turkey’s TPAO.