BAKU, Nov 14 (Reuters) - A BP-led (BP.L) group has cut its 2007 oil output forecast from its Azeri fields on the Caspian Sea by a further 12,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 674,000 bpd, the group’s head Bill Schrader said on Wednesday.
“The downward revision is due to high contents of gas in crude oil on the Azeri oilfield and watering of a number of wells on Chirag,” Schrader told reporters.
In August, the group, AIOC, trimmed the target by 22,000 bpd to 686,000 bpd from initially planned 708,000 bpd due to geological reasons.
Azeri and Chirag are part of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) fields, which produced an average of 682,000 bpd of oil in the first six months of this year.
Schrader said drilling on the Guneshli field would begin in May-June of 2008, which will bring the ACG total output to 1.0 million bpd by the end of next year to help the group fill the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
AIOC’s deputy head Rashid Dzhevanshir said the pipeline capacity would be expanded to 1.2 million bpd in 2008 from the current 1.0 million bpd.
“In 2008 we will start examining the potential of expanding the pipeline capacity to 1.6 million bpd in the future,” Dzhevanshir said.
Apart from Ceyhan, its oil is sporadically sent to three Black Sea outlets — Russia’s Novorossiisk and Georgia’s Supsa and Batumi.
AOIC forecasts Azerbaijan will receive $4.7 billion from exporting ACG oil this year thanks to high global prices. (Reporting by Lada Yevgrashina; writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Jmaes Jukwey)