June 17, 2014 / 7:42 PM / 3 years ago

Azeri oil exports decline 0.4 pct in Jan-May

BAKU, June 17 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s oil exports fell 0.4 percent year-on-year in the first five months of 2014 due to a decline in oil production at its main fields, where BP has a major interest, a source at the State Customs Committee said.

The source said Azerbaijan exported 14.316 million tonnes of oil, down from 14.371 million in the same five months last year.

Exports of oil via Russia through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline were 424,085 tonnes, down from 653,555 tonnes.

Exports through the Baku-Supsa pipeline via Georgia were 1.703 million tonnes, up from 1.619 million tonnes, while exports through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan via Georgia and Turkey were 11.831 million tonnes, up from 11.699 million.

Oil exports shipped by a rail via Georgia declined to 357,263 tonnes from 399,431 tonnes.

Azerbaijan’s oil and condensate output fell 2.4 percent year-on-year in January-May, to 17.8 million tonnes, the Azeri state energy company SOCAR said earlier this month.

The decline in oil output in January-May was linked to lower production at main oilfields Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG), where output fell in the first five months to 13.404 million tonnes, from 13.776 million tonnes in January-May 2013.

Falling output at ACG oilfields - the biggest oil production project in Azerbaijan and one of the largest globally for oil major BP - have raised concerns in Baku.

BP and its partner, Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, have tried to calm those fears by saying last year that production had stabilised. Total oil output grew last year for the first time since 2011.

BP said earlier this year that oil production at ACG in 2014 might be slightly lower than in 2013 as the company planned maintenance work at the Central Azeri and West Azeri platforms, halting operations for a couple of weeks.

The company did not say when the work would start. (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Keiron Henderson)

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