Kazakhstan continues activities on clarifying true causes of gas leak at Kashagan

Astana, Kazakhstan, July 30

By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

Kazakhstan's Oil and Gas Ministry continues its activities to reveal the true causes of the gas leak at the country's Kashagan field, Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin said in Astana on July 30.

"Throughout half a year, we [The Oil and Gas Ministry] have been engaged in revealing the true causes of the gas leak at Kashagan. However, we and the contractors see different causes and we continue our own investigation," Karabalin said.

He stressed that the Kazakh side has claims against the contractors for the quality and technology of the welding.

"The contractor conducts investigation on his own and also holds negotiations with the supplier, that's to say, there is a double-blind study," the minister said, adding that a negotiating team has been created to reveal the causes of the gas leak on the pipelines.

"London hosted the second meeting last week, during which we discussed all the arguments and controversies. I mean the negotiations are underway and all should reach a common understanding," Karabalin stressed.

He underscored that all the work was carried out by the contractors and the perpetrator will be searched among the shareholders of the project.

Production at Kashagan was stopped in September 2013, two weeks after the start due to a gas leak. Another leak was discovered almost immediately after the resumption of production in October 2013. The analysis that was conducted during several months revealed numerous cracks in the pipeline, appeared as a result of the impact of highly sulfurus accompanying gas on the metal.

The delayed start of production at Kashagan will result in a loss of 0.5 percent of GDP in 2014, according to Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning, Erbolat Dossayev.
The project operator North Caspian Operating Co (NCOC) confirmed the need to completely replace the gas and oil pipelines at the field in April.

The following companies participate in the project: KazMunaiGas (KMG), Eni, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Inpex and CNPC.

The geological reserves of Kashagan 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. The total volume of investments in the project is currently equal to $50 billion.

Edited by CN

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