No restart of oil production at Kashagan this year 06 декабря 2013, 14:32
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Kashagan oil field. ©Reuters
Oil production from the Kashagan field is not going to be restart before the beginning of the new year. Inspection of all the pipelines has to be completed first, Tengrinews reports citing a story by The Wall Street Journal. According to North Caspian Operating Company B.V. (NCOC), the field operator, it is premature to make any statement about the steps that have to be taken to overcome the problem with pipelines that has been haunting the project since the beginning of oil production in September. And this makes it hard to say when exactly the oil production at the Kashagan field is going to be resumed. Besides the company is expecting difficulties during repairs at the offshore field because of the cold weather. Last month Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin declared that oil production from the Kashagan field may be resumed in December 2013. The production at the giant oilfield started on September 11, 2013, but was suspended after two weeks because a gas leak was discovered. The production was haltered to seal the leak and restarted on October 6 only to be halted again 3 day later because another gas leak was found. A part of the defective pipe was dug up and set to a lab in Britain for tests. The experts suppose that there may be hairline fractures in the pipe that was caused by corrosion occurring because of contact with sulfurated hydrogen (Kashagan oil field has a high content of sulfured hydrogen gas). Initially, Kashagan was expected to produce around 8 million tons of oil by be the beginning of 2014. It was also expected that production of oil products at the first stage in 2013 and 2014 will make 180 thousand barrels per day and 370 thousand barrels per day at the second stage.