BP Says Production from Chirag Field to be less in 2004

Production from the Chirag Field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea will be somewhat less in 2004 according to a statement by the BP-led consortium that operates the field. During 2004 the output from the field will be 125,000 bpd as compared to 131,000 bpd in 2003 due scheduled maintenance.

Production from the Chirag offshore platform will be halted for around 15 days in July-September of 2004 to link it with new facilities.

Oilfields Chirag and neighboring Azeri and Guneshli are set to become the major source of crude for the BTC pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey, due to start operations in 2005.

Production on the central part of Azeri field is due to be launched in late 2004, while the first oil from Guneshli will be produced a few years later. Chirag is therefore set to remain the key producing field for BP in Azerbaijan next year.

BP is currently exporting the entire output from Chirag to Western market via a pipeline running to the Georgian port of Supsa awaiting the construction of a pipeline to Turkish Ceyhan on the Mediterranean.