Astana, Kazakh, Dec. 5
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Around 320,000 barrels of oil have been extracted at the Kazakh Kashagan field from the start of commercial production and its completion, the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) told Trend on Wednesday.
"Oil is currently stored in tanks at the Bolashak plant," the company said. "The extracted oil will be refined, but only before it's ready for sale."
"Moreover, oil which was in the pipeline connecting island 'D' with the Bolashak plant, was extracted," the company said. "It was also placed into crude oil tanks at the plant."
"Currently, the pipeline is being cleaned for thorough inspection using a robot," the company said. "Oil was pushed out of the pipeline by means of a so -called 'scraper' which are rubber plugs that are pushed through the pipeline. Such a process is a common practice in the oil industry."
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 of which are recoverable reserves. There are large natural gas reserves at the Kashagan field of over one trillion cubic meters.
The Kashagan field is located at the shallow part of the North Caspian Sea and stands out with its fragile ecosystem. Nevertheless, this oil and gas reservoir is unique for its huge reservoir pressure, large depth and high content of hydrogen sulphide.
The launch of oil production at Kashagan was postponed several times. The consortium of foreign companies led by Eni initially planned to provide commercial production in 2008.
In the course of coordination at the time of postponing commercial production, Kazakhstan increased its share in the project from eight to 16.8 per cent and achieved a royalty payment that wasn't envisaged in the preliminary agreement.
Another memorandum was signed in late June 2008 after which the period of industrial oil production at the Kashagan field on a shelf in the Caspian Sea was postponed to 2013.
It was earlier reported that the North Caspian Operating Company declared the start of the first oil production at the Kashagan field on Sept.11, 2013 on behalf of the consortium within the Production Share Agreement on the North Caspian.
However, gas leaks were detected in late September and early October in the land-based section of the gas pipeline, two kilometres from the Bolashak plant and oil production was suspended.
The partner companies in the Kashagan project are: Eni, KMG Kashagan BV (a subsidiary of KMG), Total, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell each have a 16.81 per cent share stake, ConocoPhillips has a 8.4 per cent share and Inpex has 7.56 per cent of the shares.