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Socar of Azerbaijan Produces Less Oil in First 10 Months of Year

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, pumped less oil and natural gas in the first 10 months of the year as production from the BP Plc-led Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field dropped.

The Baku-based company, a partner in the Caspian Sea field known as ACG, produced 6.9 million metric tons of oil in the period, a decline of 2.2 percent from a year earlier, according to data published today on its website. Gas output fell 3.4 percent to 5.7 billion cubic meters.

ACG production shrank 12 percent in the first half of the year, prompting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to accuse BP of making “grave mistakes” at the field, which accounted for 78 percent of the nation’s output last year. BP has since replaced regional executives and promised to bring in experts from around the world to address the “technical challenges” at ACG.

Azerbaijan, the largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia and Kazakhstan, saw total crude production fall 7.7 percent to 36 million tons in the 10 months, the State Statistics Committee said this month. Production of marketable gas increased 6.8 percent to 14.4 billion cubic meters.

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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