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Commercial production at Kashagan to be resumed at the end of 2015: Minister of Economic Affairs

29 april 2014, 13:34
Yerbolat Dossaeyv. ©primeminister.kz
Yerbolat Dossaeyv. ©primeminister.kz

Commercial production at the giant Kashagan oilfield will be resumed at the end of 2015, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs Yerbolat Dossayev as telling a briefing at the President’s Center for Public Communications.

“The issue of resuming the commercial production is to be resolved next year. We don’t expect the resumption to happen this year. The production is to be resumed either in the second half or at the end of 2015”, the Minister said.

He elaborated that “these are preliminary data obtained from the consortium of foreign companies in charge of developing the oilfield”.

Earlier the country’s media reported that the giant oilfield might be suspended for 2 years to have a new pipeline produced that would be able to resist the toxic gases.

Given the risks of further postponement of commercial production at the giant Kashagan oilfield, talks will be held with other oil companies to boost crude production figures, Tengrinews.kz reported, citing the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs Yerbolat Dossayev as saying April 14.

Commercial production at Kashagan started September 11, 2013. However, it was suspended 2 weeks later due to a gas leakage. The production process was resumed shortly. However, another leakage was detected in October.

The Kashagan field, named after a 19th century Kazakh poet from Mangistau, is located in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea and extends over a surface area of approximately 75 kilometers by 45 kilometers. The reservoir lies some 4,200 meters below the shallow waters of the northern part of the Caspian Sea and is highly pressured (770 bar of initial pressure). The crude oil that it contains has high ‘sour gas’ content.

The development of Kashagan, in the harsh offshore environment of the northern part of the Caspian Sea, represents a unique combination of technical and supply chain complexity. The combined safety, engineering, logistical and environmental challenges make it one of the largest and most complex industrial projects currently being developed anywhere in the world.

According to Kazakhstan geologists, geological reserves of Kashagan are estimated at 4.8 billion tons of oil. According to the project’s operator, the oilfield’s reserves are estimated at 38 billion barrels, with 10 billion barrels being recoverable. Besides, natural gas reserves are estimated at over 1 trillion cubic meters.

“We expect Kashagan to come on stream shortly. The volume of crude to be produced hinges on the period of repairs currently under way. Our estimates stand at about 2 million tons for 2014”, Tengrinews.kz reported mid-January 2014, quoting the country’s Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin as saying at a press-conference following the sitting of KAZENERGY petroleum association.

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