FOURTH WELL ON “SHAKH-DENIZ” WILL ENABLE TO PLAN OPERATIONS WITH TPG500

BP as operator of the Shah Deniz gas and condensate development project, today announced that it has spudded the fourth pre-drill development well which will complete the Shah Deniz Stage 1 Pre-drilling Programme. The well is being drilled from the existing drilling template to a location that is near the fields crest, with a drilling step-out of 1.4 km.

The water depth at the template location is approximately 101 metres. The design drilled depth of the well is 6214 metres and will take approximately 140 days to drill and suspend.

Mike Skitmore, Shah Deniz President, said: The successful completion of the first three wells has built a good deal of experience of drilling in the Shah Deniz reservoir and the South Caspian in general.

The fourth well will be yet another opportunity to build on our previous knowledge of this challenging drilling environment, and will enable us to better plan for future drilling operations from the platform after TPG500 is commissioned in the first half of 2006.

Use of pre-drilling in advance of installation of the TPG500 Production Platform allows a condensed project schedule to the first gas date and will provide for a much faster ramp-up of gas and condensate production immediately after the platform is commissioned, benefiting both Azerbaijan and the Shah Deniz partners.

The Stage 1 project is progressing according to schedule to meet the target of delivering first gas to the market on 30 September 2006. Appraisal activities in support of additional stages of the Shah Deniz development continue

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