Giant Kashagan Oil Field Under Testing
Testing and precomissioning works started at Kashagan oil field in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian sea, Sputnik Kazakhstan news agency reported on Sept. 29 with the reference to the project operator North Caspian Operating Co (NCOC).
According to NCOC, hydrocarbons are being supplied to some objects including new pipelines as a part of complex process of commissioning and testing of the field.
The consortium stressed that safety of personnel and the environment is its priority.
Two days ago Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said Kazakhstan would start opening wells at Kashagan in a few days. Official start of oil production at Kashagan oil and gas field is expected at October 23, according to Bozumbayev.
Kashagan is a large oil and gas field in Kazakhstan, located in the north of the Caspian Sea.
The geological reserves of Kashagan are estimated at 4.8 billion tons of oil. The total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels; some 10 billion out of them are recoverable reserves. There are large natural gas reserves at the Kashagan field – over one trillion cubic meters. The production at the Kashagan field started in September 2013, but in October, it was suspended after a gas leak in one of the main pipelines. The analysis has been conducted for several months.
As a result, numerous micro-cracks were revealed in the pipeline. They emerged as a result of the effect of the associated gas with high sulfur content on the metal. NCOC project operator confirmed the need for complete replacement of the gas pipeline and oil pipeline on the field. Their total length is about 200 kilometers.
North Caspian Operating Company BV (NCOC) is operating the project. The project participants are KMG Kashagan B.V (16.88 percent), AGIP Caspian Sea BV (nearly 16.81 percent), CNPC Kazakhstan BV (8.33 percent), Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Inc. (nearly 16.81 percent), INPEX North Caspian Sea Ltd., Shell Kazakhstan Development BV (nearly 16.81 percent), Total E&P Kazakhstan (nearly 16.81 percent).