* BP output at ACG field falls faster than Azeri total
* Falling output has aroused concern in Azerbaijan
* Output from Shah Deniz gas field is up
By Lada Evgrashina and Margarita Antidze
BAKU, March 1 BP's output at Azerbaijan's
Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) fields was down 7 percent in 2012,
it said, showing a faster fall than that of total Azeri
production in a trend that has drawn criticism from the
But the British oil major's output rose from the Shah Deniz
gas field, the country's biggest.
BP said in a news release on Friday that oil output at ACG
was 32.9 million tonnes in 2012, down from 35.4 million tonnes
Falling oil production at the ACG oilfields, the biggest in
Azerbaijan, has raised concerns in the ex-Soviet republic and
prompted President Ilham Aliyev to accuse BP of making "false
Officials at BP and state energy company SOCAR say the
geology of the country's main oilfields has fallen short of
original expectations and they have cited maintenance and higher
safety standards at BP after the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico as reasons behind the falls of the past 18 months.
Extending a drop that began in 2011, Azerbaijan's oil and
condensate production fell 5.3 percent to 42.98 million tonnes
in 2012 from 45.40 million in 2011.
BP said on Friday it exported 282.9 million barrels of oil
from the ACG in 2012, down from 291.5 million barrels in 2011.
Its export via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline declined to 246
million barrels last year from 257.3 million barrels in 2011.
During 2012, the ACG consortium led by BP spent about $725
million in operating expenditure and $2.5 billion in capital
In 2013, BP plans about $758 million in operating
expenditure while capital spending should be roughly unchanged.
GAS OUTPUT UP
In contrast, natural gas output at the Shah Deniz gas field,
also operated by BP, rose in 2012 to 7.73 billion cubic metres
(bcm) from 6.67 bcm in 2011.
It also produced 2.0 million tonnes of condensate at Shah
Deniz, up from 1.8 million tonnes produced in 2011.
Azerbaijan's biggest gas field, Shah Deniz is being
developed by consortium partners BP, Statoil, Azeri
SOCAR, Total and others. It is estimated to contain
1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas.
Shah Deniz I has been pumping gas since 2006, while gas from
its second stage is expected to reach Europe by 2019, SOCAR said
BP said Shah Deniz I production was currently at plateau
with production facilities running at maximum capacity of 966
million standard cubic feet per day and approximately 55,000
barrels of condensate per day when markets are available.
On average 21.1 million standard cubic metres of Shah Deniz
gas was exported from the terminal daily in 2012.
During 2012, Shah Deniz consortium spent $269 million in
operating expenditure and $1.1 million in capital expenditure.
Operating expenditure is expected to fall this year to $222
million but capital spending will rise to $2.7 billion.
Total gas production in Azerbaijan rose 4.3 percent to 26.8
bcm last year from 25.7 bcm in 2011.
The former Soviet republic ships its oil via five main
routes: Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, neighbouring
Georgia's Supsa, Batumi and Kulevi ports, and Turkey's Ceyhan.
Azerbaijan sells gas to the domestic market and to Georgia
and Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline as well as to