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French Total promises to remove delaying factors at Kashagan

24 january 2014, 15:36
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©REUTERS
©REUTERS
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been promised that the delaying factors at the giant Kashagan oilfield would be shortly removed. The promise was voiced at his talks with Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of French oil major Total [part of the international consortium developing the oil field], Tengrinews reports citing the presidential press-service.

The sides dwelt on crude production at the oil field. Christophe de Margerie assured the consortium member companies would take all the required measures to tackle delays.

“They both lauded the dynamic development of the Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry through investments and new technology”, the Press Service’s statement reads.

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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