Azeri Oil Export Starts

4 March 2005

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), operated by BP, yesterday started Central Azeri crude oil export from the Sangachal terminal.

Production from the Central Azeri platform commenced on the 13th of February, which was inaugurated by HE President of Azerbaijan Republic in a ceremony held on the platform on the 18th of February. It took the oil just over two weeks to reach Sangachal terminal where it was treated to achieve the required specifications before it entered the export system.

Oil from Sangachal will initially be transported to market via existing export routes, and through new export routes including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline once operational later this year. 

The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing Agreement are: BP (operator - 34.1%), Unocal (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX (10.,0%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%), Itochu (3.9%), Amerada Hess (2.7%). 
Note to Editors:

The ACG Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), signed in September 1994, covers the 30 year development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli contract area. It is estimated that 5.4 billion barrels of oil will be recovered during the PSA period. The field is being developed in several phases: Chirag has been producing since 1997 as part of the Early Oil Project (EOP). This has now been followed by Azeri Project Phase 1 - Central Azeri production. Successive phases include West Azeri and East Azeri as Azeri Project Phase 2, scheduled to come on stream in 2006 and 2007 respectively, with ACG Phase 3 - Deepwater Gunashli, now sanctioned and expected to begin production in 2008

For further information please contact:
Tamam Bayatly, BP Baku Press office, telephone:      994 (0) 12 599 4557