Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Gas Field Halts Production

LONDON Jan 23, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

BP PLC's (BP) Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan has stopped production for the second time in a month due to a recurrence of a technical problem within the well, a BP spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman said the innermost layer of pipe work within a three-layer system in the well isn't holding the gas pressure. Gas production at the well stopped Tuesday morning and engineers were working on fixing the problem, he said.

This a recurrence of the problem that shut down the well Dec. 22 2006, just four days after it came onstream. The well resumed output Jan. 15, before the current interruption.

The second well at the Shah Deniz gas field should be running by the end of the first quarter of 2007, the spokesman said.

Two additional wells in the Shah Deniz field are also expected to be brought onstream in 2007. The combined production target from all wells is 8.6 billion cubic meters a year by the winter of 2008, the spokesman said.

BP is operator of the field. Other stakeholders include Statoil (STL.OS) the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic SOCAR, Lukoil (LKOH.RS), NICO, Total (TOT), and TPAO.

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