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Commercial production of 75 000 barrels a day at Kashagan to start early October

17 september 2013, 14:22
0
Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan, September 2013. ©Reuters
Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan, September 2013. ©Reuters
The giant Kazakhstan-based Kahagan oilfield will reach the commercial production level of 75 000 barrels of crude a day by early October, according to the country’s Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin.

The maximum production level at Kashagan is 1.5 million barrels a day if the development plan is approved, the Minister elaborated.

He explained that every participant of the consortium relies on its own shipping capacities. “Those having a quota to ship via CPC will rely on the quota; besides, we have an opportunity to ship a substantial volume via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline (…) there’s a new route towards China; the new partner, CNPC, will be actively using the capabilities”, the Minister said.

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. The consortium developing the field comprises Eni, Shell, ExxonMobil, Total and KazMunaiGaz (all with a 16.81% stake) as well as China National Petroleum Company (8.4%) and Japan's Inpex (7.56%).

NCOC, a consortium developing the giant Kashagan oilfield, plans to produce 75 000 barrels of oil per day at the initial production stage, Tengrinews.kz reported mid-May 2012, citing NCOC Vice Managing Director Zhakyp Marabayev as saying on the sidelines of a CIS summit on oil and gas.

According to him, plans are there to bring the production figure up to 350 000 barrels a day or even up to 450 000 barrels a day at the first stage of the oilfield development.

“The current facilities enable to produce up to 350 000 barrels a day (…) Should the gas injection capacities be expanded, we could produce up to 450 000 barrels a day”, he said at that time.


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