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Crude production at Kashagan expected at 8 million tons in 2014: Oil and Gas Minister

September 18 2013, 14:57

About 8 million tons of crude are expected to be produced at the giant Kashagan oilfield in 2014, Newskaz.ru reports, citing the country’s Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin as saying in Astana September 18.

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.

Mr. Karabalin also elaborated that the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) would be able to handle the increased volume of crude. “Expanding the CPC’s capacities is slightly lagging behind the schedule; however, before the end of the year the pipe will be able to deal with Kashagan oil”, 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. 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 existing facilities allow 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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