BP has started oil production at a new Azeri Central East (ACE) offshore platform in the Caspian Sea, the company said on April 16, bolstering declining oil output in the ex-Soviet country.

The ACE platform is the seventh oil platform installed in the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field in the Caspian Sea. ACG first began production in 1997 and has since produced more than 4.3 Bbbl of oil.

Azerbaijan oil production has been in decline since passing peak output of about 1 MMbbl/d in 2011-2012 and has been producing below its quota under the OPEC+ agreement among leading oil producers.

BP said the ACE platform and related facilities are designed to process up to 100,000 bbl/d and the project is expected to produce up to 300 MMbbl over its lifetime.

ACE production is expected to increase through 2024 to about 24,000 bbl/d as two more wells are drilled, completed and brought online, the company said.