Azerbaijan: 'No Threat' to Western Firms after President's Criticism

BAKU, Azerbaijan – There is no threat to Western companies working in Azerbaijan, the country's industry and energy minister said Monday, after President Ilham Aliyev last week sharply criticized a consortium led by BP for declines in oil output.
"There is no threat to the activity of foreign companies in Azerbaijan," Natiq Aliyev said on the sidelines of the 6th Caspian Oil and Gas Trading and Transportation conference.

The minister repeated criticisms made by the president on Wednesday that output at the BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field wasn't in line with projections.

"If the results for production volumes turn out to be much lower than those planned by the partners, that demonstrates that there are problems," the minister said. He said the consortium should analyze why output wasn't meeting forecasts.

BP last week said it remained committed to Azerbaijan and was working to address production issues at the ACG field.

BP is the operator of the ACG project as part of a consortium that also includes Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Norway's Statoil and Japan's Inpex Corp. and Itochu Corp.


Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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