Kashagan oil field starts production

North Caspian Operating Co. BV (NCOC), on behalf of the North Caspian Sea PSA Consortium, reported the start of oil and gas production from giant Kashagan field offshore Kazakhstan. Completion of the facilities required for initial production was reached at midyear (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).

Phase 1 status has been reached at a cost of $41.2 billion, NCOC said. The first phase entailed the completion and operation of offshore and onshore facilities with capacity to produce as much as 180,000 bo/d from 20 wells. Phase 2 will involve completion of remaining facilities that will increase production to 370,000 bo/d; currently these facilities are mechanically completed and under commissioning. A total of 40 wells are planned for Phase 1.

Kashagan field represents the largest oil accumulation in the North Caspian Sea with estimated reserves of 35 billion bbl OOIP with 9-13 billion bbl recoverable.

Kashagan spans an area of 75 km by 45 km and lies at 4,200 m in 3-6 m of water about 80 km offshore Atyrau in the northern part of the Caspian Sea.

Since January 2009, NCOC acts on behalf of seven coventure consortium partners: KazMunayGas, Eni SPA, ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and Total SA, 16.81% each; ConocoPhillips 8.4%, and Inpex 7.56%. Execution of operations is delegated to four agent companies: Agip KCO, Shell Development Kashagan (SDK), ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc., and NCPOC, a joint venture of KMG-Kashagan BV and SDK.

During the first phase of Kashagan production, about half the produced gas will be reinjected into the reservoir. Separate pipelines will carry produced liquids and raw gas to the Bolashak plant, which will treat oil for export. Some of the processed gas will be returned to the field to fuel operations, and some will fuel the onshore plant.

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