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Production at Kashagan to start at 75 000 barrels a day

15 may 2012, 10:50
0
Kashagan oil field. ©REUTERS
Kashagan oil field. ©REUTERS
North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), a consortium developing the giant Kashagan oilfield, plans to produce 75 000 barrels of oil per day at the initial production stage, Newskaz.ru reports, citing NCOC Vice Managing Director Zhakyp Marabayev as saying on the sidelines of a CIS summit on oil and gas.

He reminded that the start of commercial production has been scheduled for late 2012.

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.

As far as the second stage is concerned, its budget and parameters may be defined in 2012. However, according to him, it is too early to say if the production could be doubled at the second stage. If no decision is taken on the 2nd stage in 2012, it will not impede the production.

According to him, all possible rumors of foreign partners exiting the project are mere speculations.

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

During the talks May 18 with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Paolo Scaroni, Eni Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, promised that “the first oil is expected in December 2012 or two-three months later than that”.

According to KMG, the Company plans to invest $8 billion into the project before 2014, with the total of investments into a range of projects standing at $20 billion.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz reported that KazMunaiGas National Oil and Gas Company would obtain a loan of $4 billion out of the National Oil Fund to finance the Kashagan oilfield development project.

When commenting on whether other companies rather than KazMunaiGas may rely on the National Oil Fund assets, Mr. Marchenko said that “there are a number of large-scaled projects that may be financed based as public private partnerships, with strategic investors injecting most of the funds and the rest being provided by the National Oil Fund through bonds purchase”.

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