OPEC publishes report on Caspian Sea region

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) published a report on the Caspian region last Thursday.

According to the report, Azerbaijan`s oil production is estimated to average 0.96 million barrels per day in 2013, flat from this year, driven by the limited new developments. Oil giant BP, the operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) project, has reported that the output plateau will be at 750,000 b/d in the coming years without major additions, and this is lower than the previous target, in order to sustain the level for a longer period. Azerbaijan`s forecast for 2013 is associated with a high risk, on the back of technical issues. On a quarterly basis, Azerbaijan`s production in 2013 is estimated to average 0.98 mb/d, 0.95 mb/d, 0.95 mb/d and 0.97 mb/d respectively.

The report also says that Central Asian state Kazakhstan`s production is expected to average 1.72 mb/d in 2013, an increase of 0.10 mb/d over 2012.

It says the increase is mainly due to the start-up of the Kashagan project. The first phase of the project, with a peak output of 0.35 mb/d, is expected to add new volumes in the second quarter of 2013 and it will feature ramp-ups in the following years. It has encountered, however, various delays and cost overruns.

Output from other fields is expected to remain relatively steady, with only minor declines. The risk to the outlook for Kazakhstan`s oil output is high, on the possibility of delays and political and technical issues. On a quarterly basis, Kazakhstan`s output in 2013 is expected to stand at 1.66 mb/d, 1.67 mb/d, 1.73 mb/d and 1.82 mb/d respectively.

OPEC said oil production for other former Soviet Union republics is projected to average 0.47 mb/d in 2013, an increase of 20,000 b/d over 2012. The rise is supported by Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan`s output from the Dzheitune, Ustyurt and Mingbulak projects. Natural declines in mature producing areas are expected to offset part of the growth in 2013, the report said.

In Iran, production capacity will fall by about 570,000 b/d to an average 2.67mb/d in 2013, the report said, as full sanctions by the European Union that began on July 1 continue.