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Vice Minister of Oil and Gas on Kashagan

22 may 2014, 22:33

The most probable time to resume the commercial production at the giant Kashagan oilfield is late 2015, Newskaz.ru reports, citing the country’s Vice Minister of Oil and Gas Magzum Myrzagaliyev as saying.

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.

According to the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs Yerbolat Dossayev, the suspension of the project resulted in losing 0.5% of the GDP in 2014.

“Somewhere at the end of 2015 is a feasible timing to resume the project”, Mr. Myrzagaliyev said at a press-conference on the sidelines of the Astana Economic Forum.

“We are waiting for a full report from the consortium in charge of developing the oilfield; the report will outline the schedule of replacing the pipes (…) following the report, we will get a clearer answer. It will take us at least a year to have the damaged pipes replaced”, he 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.

“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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