BP Suspends West Azeri Platform for Planned Maintenance


BAKU, May 21 (Reuters) – British oil major BP has suspended operations at West Azeri, one of its platforms in the Caspian Sea, for planned maintenance, Tamam Bayatly, a spokeswoman for BP Azerbaijan, told Reuters on Thursday.

Operations are suspended for 22 days, she added.

"This is a routine, planned programme and is part of normal operations," Bayatly said, adding exports would continue according to the schedule.

She said the work would maintain the ability of the platform to produce in a safe, reliable and environmentally sound way.

Oil output from the main Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) oilfields operated by BP, which account for most of Azerbaijan's output, rose to 8 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2015 from 7.9 million in the same period last year, BP said last week.

Daily oil production at the ACG fields rose to an average 661,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 645,800 bpd a year ago.

Azerbaijan said total crude oil and condensate production in Azerbaijan rose to 14.2 million tonnes in the first four months of 2015 from 13.6 million a year earlier, driven by rising oil output at the ACG fields.

Falling output at the ACG oilfields has been a cause of concern in Baku.

BP and its partner, Azeri state energy company SOCAR, tried to calm those worries in 2013, saying production had stabilised. Total oil output rose in 2013 for the first time since 2011, but the decline resumed in 2014.

Azerbaijan plans to produce 40.3 million tonnes of oil and 29 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in 2015.

(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze and Polina Devitt; Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Potter)



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