The North Caspian Operating Company B.V. (NCOC) announced the introduction of sweet gas into the offshore facilities on the artificial D Island and the lighting of the flare, a further major milestone in the start-up of the Kashagan oilfield. This achievement brings the project a step closer to the start of production later this year and follows the completion on 30 June 2013 of the project facilities required for initial production.
Employing sulphur-free gas (sweet gas), followed by the pressurization of the offshore installations, and completing the dynamic testing are critical steps before gas and fluids from the production wells are entered into the system. Onshore, at the Bolashak processing facilities, this process was initiated several weeks ago and progressed according to plan.
Given the size and complexity of the project, the consortium has to follow a long sequence of sophisticated processes to assure that each unit operates safely according to design specifications. During this complex process, safety remains the priority.
At the end of the sequential start-up process, the integrated system will receive the first oil and gas from some 4200m below the seabed. Over the coming months, production will be progressively ramped up to the design capacity from 180,000b/d in the first stage to 370,000b/d in the second stage.