Kazakhstan - 01

Kazakhstan: Astana’s Kashagan Timeline: Unrealistic Expectations

Minister of Energy Vladimir Shkolnik recently assured international investors that the Kashagan field will resume production no later than the end of December 2016, and possibly even earlier. Oil production at Kashagan was previously suspended in September 2013 – only two weeks after it began – due to a gas leak, with another leak discovered as soon as work resumed that October. Adding to the field’s problems, project operator North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) confirmed in April 2014 that the gas line and the oil line in the field (about 200km in total) had to be completely replaced as a result of the incorrect choice of pipelines in the first place, in addition to the poor assessment of the highly corrosive substances in Kashagan hydrocarbons.

However, since then the Kazakh government has announced optimistic dates for the field’s relaunch: first, late 2014, then 2015, and now no later than 2016.

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