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Oil production could begin 1.5 months after Kashagan launch

30 September 2015 14:38 (UTC+04:00)
Oil production could begin 1.5 months after Kashagan launch

By Aynur Karimova

Kazakhstan could start commercial oil production at its giant Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea 1.5 months after its launch.

This was announced by Kazakhstan's First Deputy Energy Minister Uzakbai Karabalin during a press conference at the KAZENERGY Eurasian forum on September 29, local media reported.

Production at Kashagan field was completely suspended in September 2013 after leaks were detected in the field’s sulfur dioxide gas and oil pipelines after starting production. The fractured segments of the pipeline needed to be completely replaced, which was originally slated to last roughly two years.

According to the plans, oil production at Kashagan is expected by late 2016.

“Today all the work is planned for this period, and there are no changes for now,” he said.

“It is not a problem for a field like Kashagan to reach commercial production if all the equipments are in stable operation,” Karabalin noted. “This is 75,000 barrels per day, therefore, months will be needed for that. Last time we almost reached commercial production in one and a half months, and it is quite possible. The issue of reaching 875,000 barrels will also depend on how the equipment works. This amount is quite attainable. The power of the equipment, which is now installed and located on the field and in the "Bolashak" [plant], is enough to reach this amount.”

Discovered in July 2000, Kashagan has been described as the largest field found in the past 30 years, and the largest outside of the Middle East, with a projected output close to that of the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia.

Kashagan is estimated to house roughly 4.8 billion metric tons of oil or about 38 billion barrels, some 10 billion of which are recoverable reserves. There are over one trillion cubic meters of natural gas at the Kashagan field.

Project participants include KMG Kashagan BV, AGIP Caspian Sea BV, CNPC Kazakhstan BV, Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Inc., INPEX North Caspian Sea Ltd., Shell Kazakhstan Development BV, and Total E&P Kazakhstan.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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