Gas leak halts Kashagan

September 27, 2013

A gas leak discovered in a pipeline running to the Bolashak processing plant in Atyrau shut the Kashagan field 16 days after initial production kicked off on September 11. Production is reportedly expected to be stopped for 3-4 days.

Wells have been stopped and the pipeline is being prepared to be stripped at the site of the leak.

Located 80km southeast of Atyrau, Kazakhstan , Kashagan is expected to reach 180,000 bo/d in the initial phase before ramping up to 350,000 bopd.

Days after the start of production, Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin announced an output of 40,000 bo/d.

Karabalin stressed that the work on the pipelines are adjustments and not repairs, and that this issue will not affect the projected start of commercial production in October.

“We think that this pause will have no effect on the commercial production. The capacities of the plant and the wells are sufficient to ensure the commercial level. Once we finish the adjustment, the field’s system will be ready for the commercial production. We currently see no reason to expect a failure in the achievement of our goals,” Karabalin said in a statement to news service tengrinews.kz.

Shell is the operator of Kashagan, partnering with ExxonMobil, Total, Shell, Eni and state-owned KazMunaiGaz, at  16.81% each, with Japan’s Inpex at 7.56%.

China National Petroleum Corporation recently acquiring an 8.4% stake formerly held by ConocoPhillips for $5 billion.

Image: Kashagan field, operating under the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement.

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