Astana, Kazakhstan, April 29
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
The information about the final timeframe of resumption of oil production at Kazakh Kashagan field will be available in the second half of 2014, the country's Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev told journalists on April 29.
The commercial production at the field is expected to be resumed in late 2015, according to the minister.
"We will wait for the information from the North Caspian Operating Company. The consortium will give more precise information about the timeframe for resumption of the production," the minister said.
The resumption of oil production at the Kashagan field in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea shelf is likely to be delayed by two years, the Financial Times newspaper reported on April 28 citing Dossayev.
Erbolat Dossayev said that he expects the production to start in late 2015 at the earliest - but that it can be delayed until 2016.
The need to replace the 200-kilometer subsea pipeline is one of the main reasons of the delay.
The member of the Board of Directors of France's Total, Yves-Louis Darikarrer, who is supervising the issues related to exploration and production, said last week that the production at Kashagan field is expected to be resumed in 2015.
The investigation into the causes of the gas leak is nearing completion, according to Darikarrer. Regarding this, the production can be resumed in 2015, but in "small volumes".
Oil production at Kashagan started on September 11, 2013, but in October its operation was suspended after a gas leak appeared in one of the main pipelines. Initially, it was assumed that the production volume at Kashagan would reach eight million tonnes of oil in 2014. This will increase to 12 million tons in 2015 and allow Kazakhstan to enter the top 10 largest oil-producing countries.
The reserves of the Kashagan field are estimated at 35 billion barrels of oil and some 11 billion barrels of this volume is considered as recoverable.
Partner-companies on Kashagan project are Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total and KazMunaiGas. These companies own almost equal shares in this project (16.81 percent each). China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) became the project's shareholder on September 7, 2013, with some 8.3 percent share. Another 7.55 percent share of the project is owned by Japan's Inpex Corporation.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.