Cause of gas leak at Kashagan field delayed
Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov.7
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend: The results of an examination to reveal the cause of a gas leak at the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan will be ready after December 15, a source close to the project told Trend on Nov.7.
"According to an optimistic prognosis, oil production at the Kashagan field can be resumed after a year and according to the pessimistic prognosis after two years," the source said.
Talking about the reasons for suspension of production, the source said that this was related to the gas transportation system that links the islands to the Bolashak plant.
Signs of a gas leak were detected on October 9, 2013 in the sanitary protection zone during a planned inspection of the pipeline, which is constructed from Island D to the Bolashak plant at a distance of two kilometres from the plant.
According to the message from the Department of Foreign Relations of the North Caspian Operating Company BV (NCOC) depressurisation and treatment with nitrogen to making available the examination have been carried out as a preventive measure on the pipeline's corresponding section.
"The Emergency Situations Department was notified immediately about the incident. No threat to human health and the environment have been observed. Excavation for opening the pipeline started on the morning on October 11. Once the work is completed, an inspection of the stretch will be carried out and if necessary, repair works will be carried out in line with the procedure. Oil production is suspended until the establishment of the cause of gas leak," the consortium said.
Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan located in the north of the Caspian Sea. Its geological reserves are estimated at 4.8 billion tons of oil. The total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels, some 10 billion out of them are recoverable reserves. There are large natural gas reserves at the Kashagan field - over one trillion cubic meters.
Oil production at Kashagan oil and gas field was launched on September 11. Before this the start of the field's development was postponed several times in 2005.