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BP’s Greater Plutonio Angola Field to Shut in April for Works

BP Plc said it will shut its Greater Plutonio oil field in Angola in April to install new water injection equipment to maintain the extraction rate.

The field was pumping at about 95,000 barrels a day a last week, said Robert Wine, a London-based spokesman at BP. Greater Plutonio has pumped an average of about 180,000 barrels a day since its start in October 2007, lower than the expected plateau of 200,000 barrels a day, he said.

“Because we can’t inject as much water it affects the performance of the reservoir,” Wine said by phone today. Production will resume in May or June, Gaspar Martins, an administrator for Angola’s state-owned Sonangol EP told reporters today in Luanda, the capital.

The floating, production, storage and offloading vessel at Plutonio can process as much as 240,000 barrels of crude oil a day and 400 million standard cubic feet of natural gas, according to BP. The company plans to supply gas to Angola LNG, a project being developed by Chevron Corp.

Angola’s crude output may drop by as much as 15 percent in the first half of this year from its 2010 peak due to “chronic operational problems” at the Greater Plutonio field, the International Energy Agency said Feb. 10.

BP expects production of about 3.4 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2011, compared with 3.8 million barrels in 2010. Output fell 9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

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