Baku, Azerbaijan, March 21
British oil major BP expects flat oil production in 2016 at its Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields in Azerbaijan, where it plans two rounds of maintenance this year, the company's regional head told Reuters.
Production at the ACG fields, which account for most of Azerbaijan's oil output and are operated by a consortium led by BP, totalled 31.3 million tonnes last year, down slightly from 31.5 million tonnes in 2014.
"Thanks to the operational efficiency programmes we have put in place, we expect ACG production to continue to be more or less stable as it has been for the past few years," Gordon Birrell, BP's regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.
"I am confident ... ACG will continue to deliver competitive performance for many years to come."
Birrell said the company planned two maintenance programmes on ACG in 2016.
"The exact time of these will be announced later in the year," he said.
BP had two sets of planned maintenance last year - in May and November.
Azerbaijan's crude oil and condensate production in 2015 fell 0.8 percent to 41.7 million tonnes.
BP in Azerbaijan has adapted to low global oil prices, Birrell said. "We believe we are in good shape and have been successful in strongly adapting to the current challenging conditions," he said.
"We have identified clear actions and have effective plans in place to increase efficiency in our operations and to effectively manage our investment in major projects," Birrell added, without elaborating.
The price of crude has fallen to around $40 per barrel from over $110 in mid-2014, forcing many oil producers, including Azerbaijan, to revise government spending and change currency policies to soften the resultant shock to the budget.
"We expect the current challenging business environment to continue in 2016," Birrell said.