BP Azerbaijan almost fully resumes operation of producing platform

Mar 04, 2009 01:00 AM

Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) led by BP Azerbaijan has almost fully resumed operation of producing platform Central Azeri (Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea) halted since 17 September because of gas leakage was not realized to the full extent. BP Azerbaijan reports that production on wells drilled from the platform was being resumed stage-by-stage in February.
"If in January only five wells were in operation, by end-February this number reached eight wells. This allowed to increase production from the block up to 750,000-800,000 bpd. The work on bringing wells into a complete operation is ongoing," BP Azerbaijan informed.

In 2008 production from the field made 34 mm tons of oil and 668,500 bpd on average. Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, predicted that in January AIOC will fully resume operation of the Central Azeri producing platform while industry and energy minister Natik Aliyev claimed that operation of the key producing platform could hardly be resumed before March or April 2009.
BP Azerbaijan informs that in November they managed to organize operation of only the Central Azeri processing platform and water-injection wells and thereby ensure full security of works and staff at the platform. At the same time the work on revealing and liquidating the causes of the gas leakage is underway.

Restoration of the connection of an emergency platform with platforms on west and east Azeri allowed increase of overall production from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field block up to 80,000 tons of oil a day from a standard level of 120,000-125,000 tons.
Earlier SOCAR representatives projected resumption of production on Central Azeri until the end of November 2008. In the morning of September 17, 2008 work of the Central Azeri platform was suspended and its staff evacuated after revealing a gas leakage in the water around the platform.

In July 2008, oil production from Azeri field totalled 699,000 barrels with overall production fromAIOC's three contract fields at the level of 905,029 bpd. AIOC did not publish data for this August as in February Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan stood idle for a long time and production volume was decreased sharply.
Since 1994 AIOC has been developing the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field block reserves of over 900 mm tons of oil. In September 2008 it reached stable production of 900,000 bpd, a main volume which is produced by Azeri where three producing platforms are operating. With the current level of production and export Azerbaijan loses daily profit of about $ 8 mm if calculating an average export price at the level of $ 40 per barrel although it is higher for Azeri oil.

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