By Nigar Abbasova
Oil output at Kazakhstan's Kashagan field is expected to start in October 2016.
Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Massimov gave the relevant instruction to Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev and KazMunaiGas national company during the government's meeting on June 14, Kazakh PM's website reported.
"All the necessary negotiations have been held and regulatory decisions have been made," said Massimov
Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan, located in the north of the Caspian Sea.
The geological reserves of Kashagan are estimated to be at the level of 4.8 billion tons of oil. The total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels with the 10 billion being recoverable reserves. The field also has large natural gas reserves which amount to over one trillion of cubic meters.
After huge delays and cost overruns, the production at the Kashagan field started in September 2013 but in October, it was suspended after gas leaks were detected in one of its main pipelines.
Previously, the Kazakh Energy Ministry reported that the repair-and-renewal operations on the field were implemented ahead of schedule and the oil extraction will be launched after the completion of works on the replacement of pipelines.
The field is considered to be the world's largest discovery in the last 30 years, combined with the Tengiz Field. The reservoir lies at the depth of some 4,200 meters below the shallow waters of the northern part of the Caspian Sea. The project is considered to be one of the largest and most complex industrial projects which are currently developed anywhere in the world.
Kazakhstan's economy depends heavily on the oil sector. It accounts for an estimated 20 percent of GDP, 50 percent of fiscal revenues, and 60 percent of exports
The country's proven oil reserve as of early 2016 stood at 30 billion barrels, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Largest oil fields of the country alongside with the Kashagan are Tengiz and Karachaganak.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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