Azeri BP-Operated Oil, Gas Output In Jan-Sept Near 2013 Level


TBILISI, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Oil output from BP -led oilfields in Azerbaijan between January and September were down slightly from a year earlier, BP-Azerbaijan said on Thursday, driving a fall in the country's total oil production.

Falling oil production at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields, which account for most of Azerbaijan's output, has raised concern in the former Soviet republic.

Oil output at the ACG declined slightly to 655,700 barrels per day (bpd) (24.2 million tonnes) in January-September 2014 from 663,200 bpd in the same period last year and 656,000 bpd in the first half of 2014.

Azerbaijan's total crude oil and condensate production fell to 35.6 million tonnes in January-October from 36.1 million tonnes in the same period last year, a source at the State Statistics Committee said last week.

The British oil major and its partner, Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, tried to calm worries about decline in oil production last year by saying production had stabilised. Total oil output grew last year for the first time since 2011.

BP started maintenance work at the Central Azeri platform on Oct. 31, halting operation for about a month, in a move that could further reduce oil production in the country.

BP said the platform was expected to restart operations on Nov.27.

Natural Gas Output

Natural gas output from the Shah Deniz offshore fields in Azerbaijan declined to 7.25 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the first three quarters of 2014 from 7.3 bcm in the same period last year. Natural gas output at Shah Deniz stood at 4.75 bcm in the first half of this year.

Shah Deniz is being developed by partners BP, Statoil , SOCAR and others. It is estimated to contain 1.2-1.5 trillion cubic metres (tcm) of gas.

Shah Deniz I has been pumping gas since 2006, while gas from its second stage is expected to reach Europe by 2019-20.

Overall gas production in Azerbaijan rose to 25.2 bcm in January-September 2014, from 24.0 bcm in the same period last year.

BP said about 227 million barrels of oil had been exported from the Sangachal terminal in the first nine months of this year, while gas exports from Shah Deniz averaged 26.351 million cubic metres per day.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Timothy Heritage/Jeremy Gaunt)


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