By Nigar Abbasova
British Petroleum intends to further invest in its projects implemented in Azerbaijan, regardless the struck of a landmark deal between OPEC and non-OPEC states to put ceilings on oil output jointly.
BP Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gordon Birrell told reporters that the output level produced by the company will depend on coordinated volumes of production, while the issue of oil output reduction will be decided at the governmental level.
Under the Vienna consent Azerbaijan will cut its oil output by 35,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017. Average daily oil production will amount to 800,000-807,000 barrels in 2017, while the daily output for 2016 stands at 842,000 barrels. The forecast for oil production in 2017 stands at 39.797 million, the figure is 3.7 percent lower than the volumes of 2016.
Birrell went on saying that the company will direct its efforts to minimization of production drop rates at Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field.
“Decrease of production rates with the lapse of time is natural for large oil fields. Therefore, we will spare no effort to minimize lowering of production. We are not yet ready to reveal the exact figure of oil production for 2017 as the issue is currently under consideration of SOCAR and Azerbaijani government.”
The proven oil reserves of the block amount to approximately one billion tons. Investment in ACG reached more than $32 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2016. BP Azerbaijan is an operator of the ACG block of oil and gas fields (35.78 percent share), where the Azeri Light oil grade is being produced.
Regional president also mentioned that BP Azerbaijan intends to develop a plan for drilling wells at prospective sites in the shallow waters around Absheron peninsula in January-September 2017.
As for the preparations for the signing of a contract with Azerbaijan’s SOCAR on joint exploration of potential prospects of the D230block in the North Absheron Basin of the Caspian Sea, Birrell said that the company is satisfied with the process, mentioning that the sides spare no effort to make the contract successful. He mentioned that shares of BP and SOCAR in the project will be distributed proportionally. The companies earlier signed a MOU to jointly explore potential prospects in the block. As part of the government's plan to ensure that all of Azerbaijan's offshore waters are fully explored, the MOU gave BP an exclusive right to negotiate an agreement with Azerbaijan’s oil major to explore and develop the D230 block.
BP’s office was opened in Baku in 1992. Since then, the company participated in a series of the upstream project in Azerbaijan together with SOCAR.