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Crude production at Kashagan to be resumed in a few days

02 october 2013, 15:25
Photo courtesy of shell.com.kz
Photo courtesy of shell.com.kz
Commercial production suspended at the giant Kashagan oilfield late September will be resumed in a few days, Newskaz.ru reports, citing Zhakyp Marabayev, North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) Vice Managing Director, as saying October 2.

Crude production was suspended September 25 due to some faults of the gas pipeline. According to first estimates, the repairs were supposed to take 3-4 days. However, oil production hasn’t been resumed yet.

According to earlier statements made by the country’s Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin, the suspension was not expected to disrupt the plan of bringing the commercial production figure to 75 000 barrels a day in October.

“It is a matter of days”, Mr. Marabayev told reporters in Almaty on the sidelines of KIOGE-2013 oil and gas conference October 2.

“We are taking all the necessary measures to resume crude production. It’s too early to say production is ready to be resumed. The measures are being taken in line with all the safety requirements so that the works would be resumed with no risks involved”, he elaborated.

“It will be clear shortly (…) if we will be sticking to earlier plans or the plans might be adjusted”, he added.

Crude production at Kashagan started September 11, 2013.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz reported that the level of commercial production of 75 000 barrels a day is to be reached by early October 2013, adding that Kazakhstan plans to produce 1.5-3 million tons of crude at Kashagan in 2013.

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 (8.33%) and Japan's Inpex (7.56%).

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