Difficult to discredit Kashagan field, minister says

Difficult to discredit Kashagan field, minister says

Astana, Kazakhstan, July 30

By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

Despite the next postponement of the start of oil production, it is difficult to discredit Kazakhstan's Kashagan field, the country's Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin said on July 30 at the Central Communications Service under the president of Kazakhstan.

"It is difficult to discredit the Kashagan field. This is one of the largest oil fields in the world, professionals are well aware of its potential, which every country would like to have," he said.

Karabalin said that only dilettantes can be pessimistic about the Kashagan field.

"We could believe the pessimists if there were not the Tengiz field which has as high a pressure and sulfur content as Kashagan," he added.

"Today Tengiz plays an important role in Kazakhstan's economy. The revenues from the oil production amounted to $12 million in 2013. Kashagan is similar to it in terms of its conditions, simply it is necessary to properly organize the work there," the minister said.

Karabalin stressed that the project management system is being reorganized, as the contractors acknowledged that the previous system was expensive and inefficient.

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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