Vitol Wins Right To Export Kazakhstan Share Of Kashagan Output

Vitol Wins Right To Export Kazakhstan Share Of Kashagan OutputMOSCOW, Aug 16 The world’s largest oil trader Vitol has won the right to export Kazakhstan’s share of output from the giant Kashagan field, further strengthening its position in the central Asian nation as it prepares for an oil production jump.

Vitol has been the dominant force of Kazakhstan’s oil exports for over a decade, taking barrels mainly to Russian ports and shipping them to European refineries.

The country is now preparing to start commercial output at Kashagan – one of the world’s biggest discoveries of the past decades – in October following years of delays caused by the project’s technical complexity.

Kashagan’s output will be modest at the start at between 50,000 and 1 million tonnes this year, 3 million to 5 million tonnes next year but rising to 7 million tonnes in 2018, Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said in May.

The first phase is designed to produce as much as 20 million tonnes at its peak, possibly rising to as much as 50 million tonnes if new investment is approved.

Kazakhstan holds 16.88 percent in Kashagan via KMG Kashagan (KMG), a subsidiary of Kazakh national oil company Kazmunaygaz .

The Kashagan consortium also includes Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, China’s CNPC and Japan’s Inpex.

KMG said in a statement on its website it had chosen Vitol to arrange a prepayment for KMG’s share in the Kashagan field oil worth $1 billion. It said the tender closed on Aug. 3 without providing other details. Vitol declined to comment. (Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin and Alla Afanasyeva, writing by by Olga Yagova/Dmitri Zhdannikov; editing by David Clarke and Susan Thomas)