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Kashagan accident won't harm commercial production: Kazakhstan Minister

26 september 2013, 16:58
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Photo courtesy of shell.com.kz
Photo courtesy of shell.com.kz
A small content of gas was discovered in the air during a check of the ground gas pipeline 2km from Bolashak oil treatment plant in Atyrau oblast. The pressure in the pipeline was reduced and the exact location of the leak is being defined. There is no threat to the personnel.

It will take 3-4 days to fully eliminate the leak, Tengrinews reports citing Atyrau oblast Emergency Situations Department.

All the wells have been stopped, the pressure reduced and the pipeline is currently being prepared for stripping of the supposed leak area. The cause of the leak will be defined after that. The pipeline will be relaunched after the leak is sealed.

The pipeline problem will have no effect on the start of the commercial oil production at Kashagan, Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin told the journalists, adding that those works are "adjustment of the equipment, rather than repairs".

“We think that this pause will have no effect on the commercial production. The capacities of the plant and the wells are sufficient to ensure the commercial level. Once we finish the adjustment, the field’s system will be ready for the commercial production. We currently see no reason to expect a failure in the achievement of our goals,” Karabalin said.

“In fact, this is more of a check of the line rather than an accident,” he stressed. “The system is operating in an adjustment mode right now. All we've got here is small shows of gas at the pipeline that goes to Bolashak plant. The pressure in the pipeline was reduced and the wells were stopped. This is not the first time that the system is stopped. This is an adjustment of the system, rather than a repair. The exact diagnose is being made as we speak. The necessary measures will be taken. We expect the works to take 3-4 days, i.e. there will be no production for 3-4 days, starting from September 25,” the Minister explained.

Bolashak plant is one of the key production facilities of the North-Caspian project (Kashagan field). It was launched on June 30, 2013. The opening ceremony was attended by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and British Prime-Minister David Cameron.

The consortium operating under the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement produced the first barrels of oil from Kashagan field on September 11.


By Baubek Konyrov

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