Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan oilfield will not be able to restart production before the end of 2013, the chief executive of French oil company Total , one of the partners in the project, said on Sunday.
Kazakhstan has been looking forward to revenues from Kashagan, the world's costliest oil project, which took nearly 13 years and about $50 billion to complete. But two weeks after its Sept. 11 launch, production was halted after a gas leak was detected on a pipeline.
It temporarily restarted on Oct. 6 but shut again a few days later when another leak was found.
"It will not restart before the end of the year," Christophe de Margerie told a news conference in Abu Dhabi. "It's more than simply repairing pipes."
The consortium operating the field includes Kazakh state oil firm KazMunaiGas, Italy's ENI, U.S. major ExxonMobil , Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total , each holding 16.81 percent in Kashagan.