Gunashli oilfield

Gunashli (Azerbaijani: Günəşli) is an offshore oil field in the Caspian Sea, located 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Baku, Azerbaijan, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southeast of Oil Rocks[1] and its deep water section is a part of the larger Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli (ACG) project.[2] The Azerbaijani translation of Gunashli means "sunny". Gunashli is believed to have more than 100 million tonnes of oil reserves.[1]

Gunashli oilfield
Location of Azeri–Chirag–Guneshli in the Caspian Sea
RegionCaspian Sea
OperatorSOCAR (western section)
BP (on behalf of AIOC, eastern deepwater section)
PartnersAIOC, eastern deepwater section
Field history
Start of development1976
Start of production1982
Estimated oil in place100 million tonnes
(~ 100×10^6 m3 or 700 million bbl)

Western shallow water sectionEdit

The portion of Gunashli field which is not in the scope of ACG project, lies in 120 metres (390 ft) depth of water and developed by State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) while the deepwater section developed by BP within ACG project is at 175 to 300 metres (574 to 984 ft).[1][2]

The field was explored in 1958–63.[1] The first offshore platform was installed by 1976.[1] Production in this section started in 1982.[3] It consisted of 4 steel jackets for drilling of 10 wells. As per 1980 data, the platform produced 320 tonnes of oil per day.[1]

As of 1995, Gunashli was producing 120,000 barrels per day (19,000 m3/d) of oil. Because of steadily falling rate of production (9%), SOCAR hired Kvaerner to provide project management to rehabilitate Gunashli.[1] In March 2008, a high-flow-rate well No. 244 was put into operation through the platform No. 13. It produces 140 tons of oil and 23,000 cubic metres (810,000 cu ft) of natural gas per day. The well was drilled by SOCAR subsidiary Azeri Drilling Company Ltd. The well No. 247 was drilled by Bayil Limani Offshore Exploration Drilling Unit through platform No. 14. It produces 100 tonnes per day.[4]

Eastern deep water sectionEdit

The deep water section of Gunashli (also called DWG) field has been included for development within the ACG project's Phase III. First oil from DWG was produced on 20 April 2008 from one of 10 pre-drilled wells. DWG now produces nearly 320,000 barrels per day (51,000 m3/d) of the total 1 million barrels per day (160×10^3 m3/d) from ACG fields complex.[5] ACG's DWG complex is located in the eastern side of the Gunashli field and includes two bridge-linked platforms:

  • a 48-slot drilling, utilities and quarters (DUQ) platform
  • a process, gas compression, water injection and utilities (PCWU) platform

Oil produced at DWG is transported through a 30-inch (760 mm) oil pipeline tie-ins and single 28-inch (710 mm) gas pipeline tie-in into pre-installed pipeline junctions from Azeri field leading to Sangachal Terminal.[2] The DWG has 9 operating wells. It has been producing 16,800 tonnes of oil and 6.4 million cubic metres (230 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day.[6]

1986 fireEdit

In Soviet times, on 12 July 1986 a fire broke out on an exploration platform in the Gunashli oilfield. Three oil workers and two rescuers died. While the incident was blamed on an engineer, widespread rumors claimed that faulty and outdated equipment caused the fire. After this incident, a minor protest against government neglect took place in front of the Government House. Protestors were arrested and described as hooligans by the Soviet press.[7]

2015 fireEdit

On 4 December 2015, a deadly fire broke out in the northern part of platform No. 10 at the western section of the oilfield.[8][9] The fire started, according to SOCAR, when a high-pressure underwater gas pipeline was damaged in a heavy storm.[8][10][11] As a result of the fire, the platform, which had been in service since 1984, partially collapsed.[12][13][14]

At the time of the accident, 63 workers were on the platform.[14] According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan, seven workers are confirmed to have been killed, 23 are missing, 33 were rescued; and nine were hospitalized.[15][16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sparks, Mark (Winter 1995). "Gunashli for a Sunnier Future". Azerbaijan International. 3 (4): 46. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli". BP Azerbaijan. BP.
  3. ^ Tozer, R.S.J.; Borthwick, A.M. (2010). "Variation in fluid contacts in the Azeri field,Azerbaijan: sealing faults or hydrodynamic aquifer?". In Jolley, S.J. (ed.). Reservoir Compartmentalization. Issue 347 of Geological Society special publication. Geological Society of London. p. 103. ISBN 9781862393165.
  4. ^ "High-Flow-Rate Well Put Into Operation in Gunashli Field". Rigzone. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Deep Water Gunashli starts up in the Caspian". No. 780. New Europe. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  6. ^ "Recoverable reserves at Azerbaijan's Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields estimated at nearly 1 billion tons". Interfax Azerbaijan. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  7. ^ Huseinov, Aliman (6 December 2015). "Günəşli yatağında 32 nəfər xilas edilib, bir nəfər həlak olub" [Guneshli 32 people were rescued, one person was killed]. Azadliq (in Azerbaijani).
  8. ^ a b "Fire on Azerbaijan's offshore Guneshli field continues". Cihan News Agency. 5 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Azerbaijani platform head discloses incident details". Trend News Agency. 6 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  10. ^ Aida, Sultanova (5 December 2015). "Azerbaijan: 1 dead, 30 missing, 33 saved after oil rig fire". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  11. ^ Guliyev, Emil (6 December 2015). "Azerbaijan mourns 'many deaths' after oil rig fire". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  12. ^ Bagirova, Nailia (5 December 2015). "One worker killed, 30 missing after Azeri oil rig fire: government". Reuters. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  13. ^ Aida, Sultanova (6 December 2015). "Azerbaijan: 29 still missing from burning oil platform". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  14. ^ a b Tsurkov, Maksim (6 December 2015). "SOCAR focused on searches, fire-fighting on faulty offshore platform". Trend News Agency. Archived from the original on 7 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Azerbaijan still searching for missing oilmen; aircraft, ships engaged". Trend News Agency. 10 December 2015. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  16. ^ "22 injured in SOCAR platform accident sent home". Trend News Agency. 5 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.

External linksEdit