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Why did the prime minister of Azerbaijan receive the BP delegation?

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On October 26, Prime Minister Ali Asadov met with BP Group’s executive director for production and exploitation Gordon Birrell and the company’s regional director for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Gary Jones.

The meeting was also attended by the vice-president of the regional office of BP Bahtiyar Aslanbeyli.

According to the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan, the meeting expressed satisfaction with the partnership between Azerbaijan and BP, which has been going on for many years, and discussed the prospects for the development of cooperation.

The importance of the projects carried out by BP in our country was also emphasized, the organization’s participation in the project to create a “green” energy zone in the territories liberated from occupation was especially noted.

On the same day, the head of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev received a delegation of BP. Various aspects of SOCAR-BP partnership were discussed at the meeting.

The parties exchanged views on the progress of exploratory drilling in the shallow part of the Absheron Peninsula, the importance of increasing gas production in Azerbaijan from various sources and meeting the growing needs of the local and global gas market.

The parties noted the successful continuation of production and operational work within the ACG project at this stage, and also discussed the launch of a new support block of the ACE platform in the coming months.

In turn, Gordon Birrell noted that BP is interested in long-term activities in the oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan.

The BP company on its website did not report anything about the Baku meetings of its high-ranking executive from London. And what was Birrel’s visit connected with? He is also responsible for the production.

The Azerbaijani side did not advertise the issues of oil production under BP’s operator in the ACG project. In all likelihood, the country’s leadership expressed its concern about the continuing decline in production.

It is worth noting that the last time the oil topic was discussed with the President of Azerbaijan was in October 2012. And the topic of discussion of the head of state with members of the government and the leadership of SOCAR was a sharp drop in oil production within the ACG project.

The peak of oil production within the ACG project was in 2010 – 40.6 million tons. Since then, production volumes have been falling, but the current rate of decline shows that the international consortium has not been able to achieve a smooth decline.

Table of oil production volumes from ACG (in million tons):

Years Production volumes
2010 40,6
2016 31,1
2017 29,0
2018 28,8
2019 26,0
2020 23,6
2021-6 months 11,0

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