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    The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), operated by BP, has begun oil production from the West Chirag platform, as part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field development in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea. Start-up of the West Chirag platform completes the Chirag Oil Project (COP), sanctioned in 2010. Production began from one of the pre-drilled wells, J05, on Jan. 28. The oil will first pass through the newly-installed processing facilities on the platform, before being exported to the Sangachal Terminal, via a new, in-field pipeline linked to an existing 30-in. subsea export pipeline. Production will increase through 2014, as the other pre-drilled wells are brought online. The West Chirag platform has been installed in a water depth of about 170 m, between the existing Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli platforms. The design oil capacity of the new platform is 183,000 bopd. The gas export capacity is 285 MMcfd.

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