BP Begins Planned 2-Week Shutdown of Azeri Block

MOSCOW Sep 3, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

U.K. oil major BP PLC (BP) Monday said it has begun the two-week shutdown of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli block.

"We believe that this is this is BP's biggest shutdown this year," said a spokeswoman for the company's Azerbaijan unit which operates the block and has a 34% stake in it.

The block consists of four platforms all of which will be involved in the shutdown as BP installs new equipment and connects two new platforms, said the spokeswoman, adding that the shutdown was announced at the beginning of 2007.

The new facilities should help to increase the bloc's production to 1 million barrels a day in 2008 from 650,000 barrels a day at the end of 2006, said the spokeswoman.

The block is run by the Azerbaijan International Operating Co. In addition to BP's 34% stake in the company, Chevron Corp. (CVX) owns 10.3% while INPEX and Azeri state-owned SOCAR both own 10%.

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