Socar and BP agree ACG plan

Azerbaijan state oil company Socar and UK supermajor BP have finalised a plan to stabilise oil production at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) development, ending a row over the performance of the oilfields accounting for nearly 80% of the country’s overall production, writes Kama Mustafayeva.

Socar president Rovnag Abdullayev said a programme for 2013 has been agreed and approved, after meeting visiting BP chief executive Robert Dudley.

Dudley also met Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in Baku this week, two months after Aliyev had criticised the company for making “false promises” and “grave mistakes”.

However, after the meeeting, Aliyev said: “The firm position of the Azerbaijani leadership and responsible attitude of our partners, as well as BP’s effective co-operation with Socar, quickly eliminated possible negative effects.”

ACG has experienced a fall in producion from a record of more than 300 million barrels of crude in 2010 to an estimated 250 million barrels this year.

Peak output had originally been forecast at more than 1 million barrels per day. Production is now said to be targeted at between 680,000 and 700,000 bpd, with the aim of prolonging the plateau period to the end of the decade.

BP has reduced the rate of decline in ACG production, Socar sources said, pointing to data for October-November, when average output increased to 700,000 bpd.

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