Azerbaijan 2016 Oil, Gas Production To Be Steady Around 2015 Levels
BAKU, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan expects to produce 40 million tonnes of oil and 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in 2016, a senior official at state energy company SOCAR said, roughly steady compared with this year.
Azerbaijan plans to produce 40.7 million tonnes of oil and 30.2 bcm of gas in 2015.
The official said 32 million tonnes out of 40 million tonnes of oil next year were expected to be produced at the main Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) oilfields operated by Britain's BP .
Falling output at the ACG oilfields has been a cause of concern in Baku.
BP and SOCAR, its partner, tried to calm 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.
Crude oil and condensate production in Azerbaijan fell to 27.9 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2015 from 28.6 million tonnes a year earlier due to declining output at the ACG fields.
Natural gas production fell to 19.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) in January-August from 20.1 bcm a year earlier due to lower output from SOCAR.
Crude oil and condensate production in Azerbaijan fell to 41.9 million tonnes last year from 43.1 million in 2013. Natural gas output was 29.2 bcm in 2014.
Oil production rose to 14.2 million tonnes in the first four months of 2015 from 13.6 million a year earlier.
Output started to decline in May, however, as BP suspended operations at one platform in the Caspian Sea, West Azeri, for planned maintenance on May 21 for 22 days. BP plans to suspend operations at another platform - Chirag - for planned maintenance at the end of October for three weeks.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Susan Thomas)
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