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BP defends oil role in Azerbaijan

Oct. 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- British energy company BP said it was working closely with its partners in Azerbaijan to address production issues at the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil field.

Azerbaijan was critical of BP's work in the giant offshore complex in the Caspian Sea. Production during the first half of the year was down 12 percent compared to 2011. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said the situation at the field was "unacceptable."

A BP spokesman, in a statement sent to the Platts news service, said the company valued its partnerships in Azerbaijan.

"We are fully committed to Azerbaijan," the spokesman said. "We are working with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic to address ACG production issues as quickly as possible."

Aliyev told lawmakers ACG production has been in decline since at least 2008. He said production levels started to suffer when a 2008 deal gave Azerbaijan greater control over the complex.

BP serves as the operator of the ACG oil complex. It also manages the offshore Shah Deniz natural gas field, seen as a major potential source for European energy consumers.

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