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New operator for Kashagan?

May 4 2014, 17:44

Kashagan may have a new operator in the near future, azh.kz reports citing tengrinews.kz, referring to current operator- North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC).

According to the information received by tengrinews, the new amalgamated company including three companies- Agip, NCOC and NCPOC will be established. NCOC confirmed this information. However, there was no official statement made about this establishment.

According to Sergey Smirnov, the oil and gas expert, the amalgamated company is created with the purpose of attracting additional financial resources for the project. “The practice showed that the current structure doesn't work. Therefore they decided to do reformatting. Probably, they are failing with management and other things”, - Smirnov considers.

In his turn, Dmitry Baranov, the leading expert of “Finam Management” considers there is nothing unusual in creation of a new company. “Similar decisions are very often made during implementation of major projects worldwide. There could a few explanations to that. Firstly, it could reflect the occurring changes in the project participants’ structure. Secondly, it could happen due to changes in the project itself, as well as in setting of other tasks that require the participants with different competence”, - explained the expert. According to Baranov, if all project participants agree with such changes, the plan for new operator could be acomplished quickly enough and without major impact to the project operations.

Anna Kokoreva, the analyst of Alpari company says that the decision to create a new joint operator was made because the management of NCOC raised many questions. “First of all, the project cost was always increasing. Secondly, the commercial production was constantly postponed due to numerous defects, incidents and violation of rules of operation. One should admit that it is a very complicated oil field, but it doesn't justify the extremely poor quality of work of the Kashagan project operator”, - said the analyst.

Oil production at Kashagan started on September 11, 2013. However, on September 24, due to accidental gas leaks the production has been suspended. The experts stated that pipelines require full replacement and no oil production will be expected until 2016.

Translated by Zeena Urynbassarova 

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