BP Amoco Takes Over As AIOC Operator

BAKU (Reuters)–The 11-member oil consortium Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) said in a statement on Monday it had decided to cede operatorship of the $11 billion scheme to BP Amoco.

BP Amoco already holds a 34 percent stake in the consortium–set up in 1994 with the purpose of developing three offshore oiflields in the Caspian Sea.

"We believe that a single BP Amoco operatorship will deliver a stronger–more competitive–more resilient and successful oil industry to Azerbaijan," David Woodward–president of AIOC–said in the statement.

Azerbaijan has signed 19 deals worth over $40 billion to develop Caspian energy reserves.

The move had been expected as part of cost-cutting measures. BP Amoco is already operator of four other consortia in Azerbaijan but AIOC is the only one so far producing oil in the Azeri section of the Caspian. Production is currently at around 110,000 barrels per day.

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