BP Finds Major Gas Field

Friday, November 16, 2007
According to a Bloomberg report, BP Plc discovered a gas deposit in the Caspian Sea that may double production from the largest natural gas development in Azerbaijan. BP shares rose 2.8 percent, the most in a month, in London trading after the company announcement. With the latest discovery, the field may be able to pump enough gas to supply Belgium and Luxembourg together. BP and partners including StatoilHydro ASA plan to spend $4.2b on the site's first stage, which started pumping fuel to Turkey in July, easing Europe's dependence on supplies from Russia's OAO Gazprom. The announcement is the second ``major'' discovery within a week after Petroleo Brasileiro SA said an offshore field could be Brazil's biggest ever oil find. The pipeline across the Caucasus mountains allows Azerbaijan to sell gas to Europe without passing through Russia. A BP-led oil pipeline already follows the same route to Turkey and ends up at a Mediterranean oil terminal in Ceyhan. The new discovery came from the SDX-04 appraisal well at the field, BP said today in a statement. The gas condensate deposit is situated below the currently developed natural gas reservoir. Gas condensate is a mixture of hydrocarbon liquids, similar to gasoline. The Shah Deniz partners started pumping gas in December and are now supplying the fuel to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Some customers in Europe have been looking for supplies from the field to ease dependence on OAO Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas export monopoly. BP and StatoilHydro each own 25.5 percent of the Shah Deniz production-sharing agreement. The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, Russia's OAO Lukoil, Iran's NICO and Paris-based Total SA each own 10 percent. Turkish Petroleum Overseas Co. owns 9 percent. [Source: Bloomberg]
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