Kazakhstan's Kashagan oilfield has resumed production after its latest delay, a shutdown on September 25 following the detection of a gas leak. Discovered in 2000, it has taken 13 years and approximately $50 billion before production started on September 11.
Prior to last month's shutdown, Kashagan produced between 48,000 and 50,000 b/d. "They have now achieved 61,000 b/d," Sauat Mynbayev, head of the Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, announced at the KAZENERGY annual oil and gas conference. "They have made up for the lost tempo.”
Mynbayev also stated the September setback will not change the projected 8 million tons of crude Kashagan is set to produce next year. In fact, according to Kazakh Oil & Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin, that figure will rise to 12 million tons in 2015. It is estimated that Kashagan Field has 9 - 13 billion bbl oil recoverable.
Kashagan, the world’s largest oil discovery in decades, much launch a commercial output of 75,000 b/d this month or the multi-national consortium behind the oilfield’s development faces fines under its production-sharing agreement with Kazakhstan.
In July, Kazakhstan exercised its pre-emptive rights to buy an 8.4% stake from ConocoPhillips in the field, also for around $5 billion. Following that deal, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) acquired an 8.33% stake in Kashagan on September 7, reportedly beating out India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in the process. The CNPC deal is also estimated around $5 billion.
Offshore the Caspian Sea, the total Kashagan Contract area covers more than 2,125 square miles of northern Caspian Sea waters and contains five separate fields -- Kashgan, Kalamkas A, Kashagan Southwest, Aktote and Kairan.
KazMunaiGas; Italy's ENI; ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total are partners in consortium with each holding 16.81% stakes in Kashagan. Japan's Inpex owns 7.56%. Eni is the operator.