Status of Kazakh oil and gas projects in Dec. 2015

Business Materials 6 January 2016 16:40 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

The status of Kazakh oil and gas projects for December 2015.

North Caspian Project

North Caspian project includes such fields as Kashagan, Kalamkas - sea, Aktoty, Kayran, South-Western Kashagan.

The preliminary oil reserves at the fields following the exploration and evaluation are as follows:


Geological reserves:

Recoverable reserves:


4,5 mln tons of oil

1,476 bln tons

Kalamkas - sea

159 mln tons of oil

57 mln tons

South-Western Kashagan

20 mln tons of condensate

6 mln tons


269 mln tons of condensate

100 mln tons


150 mln tons of oil

56 mln tons

Total on North Caspian Project:

5,448 bln tons

1,694 bln tons

North Caspian Operating Company BV (NCOC) is engaged in developing the project.

The project participants are KMG Kashagan BV (16.88 percent), AGIP Caspian Sea BV (nearly 16.81 percent), CNPC Kazakhstan BV (8.33 percent), Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Inc. (nearly 16.81 percent), INPEX North Caspian Sea Ltd., Shell Kazakhstan Development BV (nearly 16.81 percent), Total E&P Kazakhstan (nearly 16.81 percent).

In early July 2015, Kazakh national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas said that it plans to sell 50 percent in KMG Kashagan B.V., which owns a 16.88 percent stake in the project to develop super-giant field Kashagan, to the Kazakh National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna. The closing of the Kashagan Sale is expected to occur before the end of 2015.

The Chinese side will finance the KMG share in the second stage of developing the Kashagan field, which will require billions of dollars, in accordance with the agreement concluded in 2013. Moreover, the Chinese company has committed to build a pipe plant, a complex of oil equipment in Aktau.

The Kashagan field is located in the northern part of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. It is one of the largest oil fields discovered for 40 years. The project is also one of the most difficult technical tasks, ever dealt by the international oil companies. It is impossible to apply classical approaches to the development and production of offshore oil and gas deposits because of the shallow water and low temperature in winter in the Northern Caspian region.

All offshore structures in the Kashagan field, envisaging oil and gas production, reinjection of gas and well drilling, are installed on the artificial islands. The oil and gas will be supplied to the shore through the field pipelines to the onshore complex - Bolashak onshore oil and gas processing facility. Some extracted gas will be pumped back into the reservoir for recycling and maintaining the reservoir pressure.

Project status

The oil production on the Kashagan field was launched in September 2013. Earlier, the beginning of the development of the field has been postponed several times since 2005. But the production was stopped in October 2013 because the gas leaks were revealed in one of the main pipelines.

The analysis has been conducted for several months. As a result, numerous micro-cracks were revealed in the pipeline. They emerged as a result of the effect of the associated gas with high sulfur content on the metal. NCOC project operator confirmed the need for complete replacement of the gas pipeline and oil pipeline on the field. Their total length is about 200 kilometers.

The Kazakh government plans to resume production on the Kashagan field in late 2016. Magzum Mirzagaliyev, the Kazakh Vice-Minister of Energy, said in December that the pipes are replaced in the field ahead of the schedule. The production is expected to reach 13 million tons by 2020.

Earlier, Uzakbai Karabalin, the Kazakh Deputy Minister of Energy, said that after the field is re-commissioned, it will be able to reach the commercial production of 75,000 barrels per day for 1.5 months.

However, many analysts say that the oil production on the Kashagan field at low commodity prices will be unprofitable. Earlier, Sauat Mynbayev, the Chairman of the Board of Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas said that the threshold for payback in oil production on the Kashagan field reaches approximately ​​$100 per barrel.


The licensed area of the project includes the Tengiz field, which is one of the largest in the world, and Royal field which is smaller.

The recoverable reserves of Tengiz and Royal fields are estimated from 750 million to 1.1 billion tons of oil. The total proven reserves of the Tengiz manifold amount to 3 billion tons, while 190 million tons - in the Royal field.

The field is being developed by Tengizchevroil. The shareholders are Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas (20 percent), Chevron Overseas (50 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent) and LukArko (5 percent).

Tengizchevroil produces several types of end products from the extracted raw materials. This is mainly the stabilized oil. The commodity dry gas, propane and butane are produced from the associated gas. Moreover, the sulfur extracted from the hydrogen sulfide is produced. The content of the hydrogen sulfide in the Tengiz oil is rather high.

At present, this deposit envisages about 30 percent of oil production of the total republican level. The company produced 26.7 million tons of oil in 2014. The oil production was 20.3 million tons in January-September of 2015.

TCO exports crude oil via various routes: via the pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to Novorossiysk, by train to Odessa, Taman and Aktau, further to Batumi and Kulevi, as well as via Azerbaijan, Georgia and further.

The project status

Implementation of the Wellhead Pressure Management Project / Future Growth Project (WPMP / FGP) is important for more efficient operation of the Tengiz project.

Implementation of the WPMP / FGP will make it possible to increase TCO oil production by 12 million tons - up to 38 million tons per year.

The planned date of commissioning of the capacities of the WPMP / FGP is 2021. Earlier it was planned to complete the implementation of these projects in 2017.

The WPMP is aimed at maintaining the current TCO production level by building a system that will be maintaining pressure in the collector of the Tengiz field. The pressure in the reservoirs of "Tengiz" has been steadily falling, which can greatly complicate the extraction of oil and sharply increase in the prime cost of production.

Implementation of the WPMP envisages the construction of a new system for the collection of the well production, infrastructure and support facilities, objects of the pressure increasing system, which will make it possible to maintain the current level of oil refining at the existing Complex Technology Line (CTL) plant and the Second Generation Plant (SGP).

The Future Growth Project (FGP) includes the construction of a new oil refinery in the amount of 12 million tons per year and the objects of gas injection with a capacity of 9.4 billion cubic meters per year.

Earlier, implementation of the Future Growth Project was estimated at $23 billion, but later the shareholders pre-evaluated its implementation nearly at $40 billion. In September, chairman of the KazMunaiGas Board Sauat Mynbayev said that an agreement was reached to optimize expenditures to $34 billion, and work on the project should start in May 2016. No final decision on the price has been made yet.

The main volumes of the Tengiz oil after completion of the FGP will go via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) system, and the remaining volumes - via most profitable routes at that time.


Karachaganak field is one of the world's largest fields. Its oil and condensate reserves stand at 1.2 billion tons, and gas reserves exceed 1.35 trillion cubic meters. As of today, almost 45 percent of gas and 16 percent of all liquid hydrocarbons produced in Kazakhstan are being extracted from this field.

Karachaganak project is implemented within the framework of the Final Production Sharing Agreement (FPSA) concluded between the government of Kazakhstan and alliance of foreign companies.

Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO), which includes BG Group (29.25 percent), Eni (29.25 percent), Chevron (18 percent), Lukoil (13.5 percent) and KazMunaiGas (10 percent) is engaged in development of the field.

In early April 2015, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell announced about reaching an agreement to purchase a smaller company - BG Group at $70 billion. The sides expect that the transaction will be completed in early 2016.

Later, BG Group stated that in case of a merger with Royal Dutch Shell, it can lose its 29.5 percent stake in Kazakhstan's Karachaganak project because in case of changing control over BG Group, Kazakhstan is entitled to enjoy its priority right to buy the company's share in the project.

Kazakhstan, however, has not stated about its interest in buying a stake of BG Group in "Karachaganak".

In 2014, KPO achieved a record level of production of stabilized and non-stabilized liquid hydrocarbons, gas and fuel gas, which amounted to 142.5 million barrels of oil equivalent. The volume of sour gas re-injection to maintain reservoir pressure was 8.818 billion cubic meters, or 48.3 percent of the total amount of gas produced.

During the first half of 2015, KPO produced 70.8 million barrels of oil equivalent of stabilized and non-stabilized liquid hydrocarbons, gas and fuel gas. The volume of gas re-injection to maintain reservoir pressure was 4.34 billion cubic meters, or 47.5 percent of the total amount of gas produced.

The bulk of the produced liquid hydrocarbons is exported via the pipeline system of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). Small volumes of Karachaganak oil are sold via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline. Unstable gas condensate is transported for processing at the Orenburg gas processing plant in Russia at a cost below a market one.

In July 2015, Russia and Kazakhstan have extended the purchase and sale contract of Karachaganak gas in the amount of up to nine billion cubic meters per year until 2038. Russia, in turn, will ensure long-term supply to the domestic market of Kazakhstan, including through exchange operations.

Also, certain amounts of unstable gas condensate from the "Karachaganak" field are delivered to the Kazakh "Condensate" low-tonnage refinery.

The project status

The project is currently at the stage of commercial service, which is characterized by the support of the current production level of 12 million tons of liquid hydrocarbons and 18 billion cubic meters of gas.

The concept of further development of the "Karachaganak" is considered, which envisages increasing the gas injection volume on the field in order to extend the period of stable production of liquid hydrocarbons.

In December 2015, Deputy Energy Minister of Kazakhstan Magzum Mirzagaliev said that Kazakhstan's Ministry of Energy expects that the investment decision on the project to expand the Karachaganak oil and gas field will be made by 2018. Commissioning of the project is planned in 2022.

At the same time, due to the current market situation, the work to optimize the concept and reduce the costs of the "Karachaganak" project is underway. In 2015, several steps to optimize costs were implemented. As a result, the proposed budget of the project was reduced by 27 percent.

Urikhtau block

The Urikhtau gas condensate field is located in the Aktobe region.

The Urikhtau Operating is working on the project. KazMunaiGas is a sole shareholder there. The Chinese and Kazakh companies signed a memorandum on the Urikhtau joint development in 2009. The joint venture was planned to be established on parity terms.

The initial geological reserves of free gas amount to 39.815 billion cubic meters of condensate (11.623 million tons), oil - 6.493 million tons, and the dissolved gas - 2.389 billion cubic meters at the Urikhtau field.

Project status

The deposit is ready for industrial development. The contract for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the field was signed. The evaluation work is underway.

Geological exploration projects on the Caspian shelf

Kazakhstan mainly relates the further increase in hydrocarbon reserves to the resource potential of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea.

Eurasia project

The Eurasia project involves the exploration of deep-laying horizons of the Caspian Basin, both onshore and offshore, located on the territory of Kazakhstan and Russia.

According to experts, the resource potential of the Caspian region, especially the Caspian Basin, is up to 40 billion tons of oil. Nearly 20 large deposits of hydrocarbons are predicted to exist here.

In case of implementation of the Eurasia project, Kazakh hydrocarbon reserves may be doubled.

The Eurasia project will consist of three stages. The first stage involves the collection and processing of the data of the past years. The second stage involves the large-scale exploration.

The third stage includes the drilling of a new support-parametric well "Caspian-1" at a depth of about 14-15 kilometers.

The estimated cost of the three phases of the Eurasia project is about $ 500 million.

It is offered to implement a project through the international consortium among big oil companies. A number of international companies have already expressed interest in the project.

The consortium participants will have to jointly create a research program, by ensuring its funding. The project will be managed in Kazakhstan.

Project Status

The Eurasia project was launched by Presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin in September 2014. Currently, the consortium is being established. The issue on the benefits and preferences for the potential investors of the project, planned to be implemented for 3-5 years, is being worked out.

"N" block (Nursultan and Rakushechnoye Sea structures)

The N section is in the southern part of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea and covers a total area of ​​7,625 square kilometers. The water depth is 29 meters, "Rakushechnoye-sea" - 47 meters on the Nursultan structure.

The conventional resources in the N section reach 244 million tons, conventional oil reserves - about 31.5 million tons, conventional gas reserves - about 19 billion cubic meters.

Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas owns 75.5 percent of subsoil use rights in the N project and 75.5 percent stake in the N Operating Company - the operator on the section.

UAE's Mubadala Development Company (Oil & Gas N Block Kazakhstan) GmbH owns the remaining 24.5 percent in the project.

The "N" project is implemented in accordance with the Production Sharing Agreement dated Dec. 29, 2007, converted on May 29, 2009 into the contract for exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the "N" section and its supplements.

Project status

Three wells were drilled at the N section. An exploration well was drilled at a depth of 2,600 meters in the Rakushechnoye-sea structure in 2010, an exploration well at a depth of 2,894 meters on the Nursultan structure in 2012, an appraisal well at a depth of 1,600 meters on the Rakushechnoye-sea structure in 2014-2015. The drilling results inspire optimism.

Satpayev project

The Satpayev site is located in the northern part of the North Caspian shelf, 90 kilometers off the coast. It includes three promising structures: Satpayev, Satpayev Eastern, Karina. The forecasted resources at Satpayev site hit 250 million tons.

The operator of the project is the Satpayev Operating. The subsoil users are Kazakh "KazMunaiGas" - 75 percent, Indian ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) - 25 percent. In case of discovering the commercial oil reserves, the Indian company can expect to acquire 10 more percent.

Project status

The first exploration well was drilled at the Satpayev area in 2015. The trials were negative.


Zhambyl field is located in the northern part of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. The water depth in the operation area is 4-5 meters. The field includes the following structures: "North-West", "Abylaikhan", "Kameralnaya" and "Zhetysu".

In 2008, a contract for exploration was signed. Zhambyl Petroleum operating company was created to implement the project. The project partners are KazMunaiGas (73 percent) and the Korean Consortium (27 percent).

Project Status

In 2013, fountain inflows of oil were obtained as a result of drilling of an exploration well on the Zhambyl field. In 2014, inflows of oil and gas were obtained as a result of drilling of an exploration well on the Zhetysu field.


The territory of the site belongs to the zone of the Caspian Sea with a depth of 8-10 meters. Four promising structures - Khazar, Auezov, Naryn and Tulpar were identified on the "Pearl" Oil and gas bearing "Pearl" project is estimated at 100 million tons of oil, according to the Kazakh geologists.

"Caspi Meruerty Operating Company B.V." operating company has been set up in the Netherlands for the development of the field. The shares of the parties in the authorized capital are distributed as follows: "KazMunaiTeniz" (a subsidiary of "KazMunaiGas") - 40 percent, Royal Dutch Shell - 40 percent, Oman oil - 20 percent. Financing of the share of "KazMunaiTeniz" in the project is implemented by the partners - Royal Dutch Shell and Oman oil.

Project status

In 2007, "KazMunaiGas" has officially confirmed the presence of oil in the "Pearl" field. All four structures regarding the "Pearl" block were explored by deep drilling. The concept of development of "Khazar" field is being selected. Date of start of commercial production depends on the decisions made regarding selection of the development concept.


The field "Abai" is located in the waters of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea at a distance of 60-70 kilometers north-west from the coast of the Bozashi peninsula. The sea depth in the area of ​​work is 8-10 meters. Geological reserves of hydrocarbons on the "Abai" block are estimated at 337 million tons of oil equivalent. "KazMunaiGas" and Statoil companies in March 2011 signed an agreement on the principles of cooperation regarding the "Abai" block.

At the same time, Statoil had to take over all the costs at the exploration stage. In February 2013, Statoil notified the Ministry of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan about its decision to withdraw from the "Abai" project. The name of the new partner of "KazMunaiGas" on the project hasn't been named yet. In April 2014, the Indian ONGC Videsh announced that the company was offered to join the project, but the decision to buy a stake in the project hasn't been adopted yet.

Project status

It is planned to hold negotiations with the competent authority for obtaining subsoil use rights.


The field "Kurmangazy" is located in the North Caspian Sea, 80 kilometers from the port of Bautino.

Participants in the project are "RN-Exploration" (subsidiary of "Rosneft") - 50 percent, Kazakh "KazMunaiTeniz" (subsidiary of "KazMunaiGas") - 50 percent.

Project status

Exploration work was conducted. The drilling was unsuccessful. Currently the issue of resumption of exploration work within an additional period of exploration is being agreed upon, taking into account expansion of the area of ​​the contract territory. A program and budget for exploration work in 2016-2021 have been developed for this purpose.


The field "Central" is located within the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea 180 kilometers east of Makhachkala, however its development must be conducted with the participation of Kazakh partners. Reserves of the field are estimated at 169.1 million tons of equivalent fuel.

Project status

In 2013, the Russian-Kazakh joint venture "Central oil and gas company" (50 percent belongs to "KazMunaiGas", 25 percent - to LUKOIL and "Gazprom") was created. But the development hasn't begun. The term of the exploration license expired in 2009. The companies couldn't obtain a new license, because Russian law forbade work of private entities on the shelf, leaving this right for the state structures.

In October 2015, the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan signed a protocol, which amends the agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to implement sovereign rights for subsoil use on July 6, 1998.

This document regulates the issues of joint development of the oil-bearing "Central" field. Its signing will allow the Russian government to issue a license for the exploration and production of oil and gas on the "Central" field on the shelf of the Caspian Sea. The license is expected to be issued without an auction and competition for 25 years, and with the stage of geological study for up to seven years. Partners want to further develop the field in order to accurately determine the parameters of the future production sharing agreement.


Oil and gas field "Khvalynsk" of Russia and Kazakhstan is located in the northern part of the Caspian Sea 100-120 km from the coast of the Russian Federation.

The reserves of the field are 322 billion cubic meters of gas, 18.398 million tons of condensate, 241.897 million tons of oil.

In 2005, "KazMunaiGas" and Lukoil established a joint venture "Caspian oil and gas company" for the development of the field. Later, "KazMunaiGas" has sold half of its stake. As a result, the shares in the project are distributed as follows: LUKOIL - 50 percent, "KazMunaiGas" - 25 percent, Total - 18 percent, GDF Suez - 8 percent.

Project status

Terms of Production Sharing Agreement to develop the project are still being discussed.