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Azerbaijani Leader Criticizes Oil Giant

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (file photo)
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has criticized a consortium led by BP for a slump in production at the Caspian Sea state's main oil field.

Aliyev said in remarks televised late on October 11 that the decline in output was caused by "numerous mistakes" made by the consortium, where BP is the largest shareholder and operator.

He said the production volumes at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field have been below BP's own forecasts over the past few years, costing Baku more than $8 billion in lost income.

A spokesperson for BP Azerbaijan said the company was working together with Azerbaijan's state oil company to address production issues.

BP is also the biggest shareholder in the $4 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which carries Caspian crude to Turkey for exports to Western markets.

Based on reporting by AP and