BP is under fire in Azerbaijan over its production revenues

City A.M. Reporter
AZERBAIJAN has accused BP of making “false promises” on oil output and said the state had missed out on $8bn of potential revenues from what is one of the company’s biggest projects in the world.

President Ilham Aliyev said he would take “serious measures” – threatening a third battle front for BP as it seeks a settlement over its Macondo oil spill in the United States and is struggling over the fate of its $25bn Russian venture.

“Azerbaijan has not received $8.1bn in revenues,” Aliyev told his government, accusing BP of “grave mistakes” in planning oil output at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields in the past few years.

“It is absolutely unacceptable ... Investors who cannot stick to their obligations and contract terms must learn lessons. Serious measures must and will be taken,” Aliyev said, according to a text posted on his website.

BP’s spokeswoman in Azerbaijan, Tamam Bayatly, said the company remained devoted to its Azeri operations and would work with state oil company SOCAR to resolve issues.

The comments will also concern BP’s partners on the project – Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Statoil – which have for years watched Russia and Kazakhstan take larger shares in oil projects away from Western firms.