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Saturday, June 02, 2007

BP restarts Shah Deniz well

29 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - BP has fixed problems at one of its two gas producing wells at the Azeri Shah-Deniz field and hopes to produce 2.7 billion cubic metres of gas this year - almost half its initial estimates, the company said today. BP had to halt output at the $4 billion project twice after its launch in December due to high pressure at the first producing well. Its partner in the project, Azeri state company Socar, has said the field would produce around 3 Bcm in 2007 instead of the planned 5 bcm due to problems. The setbacks have dashed the hopes of Georgia and Turkey to buy more Azeri gas this year to cut their reliance on Russia. Shah-Deniz resumed production after the second well was launched in February. "We have repaired Shah-Deniz's first well, which was drilled in December and had problems with pressure," Reuters quoted Bill Schrader, the head of BP in Azerbaijan, as saying. He said total output from the two wells now amounted to 5.2 million cubic metres a day. BP and the field's other operator, Norway's Statoil , plan to export gas from Shah-Deniz to Turkey via Georgia along the $1 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum pipeline. Schrader said the third well, initially planned to be launched in March, would start in the next two weeks, while the fourth was expected in the third quarter. Shah-Deniz's shareholders also include Russia's Lukoil, France's Total and Iranian and Turkish state oil companies.

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