BP Seeks ACG Extension to Maintain Output at Largest Azeri Field

BP Plc (BP/) is seeking to extend its oil contract on the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field beyond 2024 to allow more investment and sustain output at the largest Azeri deposit after its local partner last year said there weren’t such plans.

The Caspian Sea field produced 32.5 million tons of oil in 2013, down from 32.9 million tons. While the new $6 billion West Chirag platform that started output yesterday will help offset natural decline, BP said at least one more is needed by 2021.

“We are talking to State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan about the next phase,” Gordon Birrel, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey manager, said in Baku, the Azeri capital. “But we have no fixed and agreed plans at this point. This field needs investment and at least one more platform to maintain production.”

West Chirag is estimated to produce about 60,000 barrels a day, or 3 million tons, this year, he said. The platform will have at least 14 wells, with six running this year, Birrel said. It’s the largest and most technologically advanced of the eight current platforms in Azerbaijan’s section of the Caspian Sea, he said. The site has a capacity of 183,000 barrels of oil a day.

Nizamaddin Quliyev, a spokesman for Socar, as the Azeri state oil company is known, wasn’t immediately able to comment when Bloomberg contacted his office today. President Rovnaq Abdullayev last year said an extension “isn’t on the agenda.”

Partners at ACG, which provided 76 percent of Azeri output in 2013, also include Chevron Corp. (CVX), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Statoil ASA, Turkiye Petrolleri AO, Itochu Corp. (8001) and ONGC Videsh Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zulfugar Agayev in Baku at zagayev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net

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