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Azeri Leader Vows ‘Serious Measures’ Against BP for Oil Decline

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- President Ilham Aliyev blamed BP Plc for the decline in Azerbaijan’s oil production and vowed to take “serious measures” against the U.K. producer.

In comments broadcast today on state TV channel AzTV, Aliyev said the “unexpected decline” in oil output was because of “grave mistakes’ by BP, which operates the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli, or ACG, and Shah Deniz fields.

Aliyev also accused BP of failing to deliver on a promise nearly a month ago to keep output at a stable level.

‘‘It’s totally unacceptable,” Aliyev said. “The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan has been instructed to officially raise this issue and take the necessary measures. Serious measures are needed and will be taken.”

ACG output plunged 12 percent in the first half of 2012 from a year earlier, according to data on BP’s website. The field produced 35.4 million metric tons of oil last year, or 78 percent of Azerbaijan’s total output.

The U.K. energy producer, which holds 35.8 percent of the project, gave no reason for the decline.

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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