BP To Boost Georgian Production

BP has plans to boost capacity of the pipeline from its Azeri oilfields to Georgia in 2003, awaiting construction by 2005 of a major pipeline for Azeri oil to Turkey.

A company spokesman said there is a study underway to to increase the capacity of the pipeline from the Azeri capital Baku to Georgia's Black Sea port of Supsa to 160,000 barrels per day from 140,000 bpd. He said BP planned to complete the study by the end of 2002 and upgrade the pipeline by mid-2003.

Currently the bulk of crude shipped through the Baku-Supsa pipeline comes from the BP-operated offshore Chirag oilfield in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan also exports up to 60,000 bpd of crude via the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.

Both pipelines will be superseded when a BP-led consortium builds a major one million bpd pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in 2005. Chirag is the first field to produce crude from a production sharing agreement between Azerbaijan and a BP-led group, which also plans to develop two neighboring giant fields.

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