Kazakhstan Refuses To Limit Oil Output From Kashagan

Kazakhstan To Develop Kashagan Field

Kazakhstan, enjoying 3 percent of the world’s total oil reserves, announced that it will not impose any limits for oil production at the recently-relaunched Kashagan field.

Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev noted that Kazakhstan’s share in the world oil production is very small – just 1.5 million barrels from over 34 million barrels of the world oil production , Sputnik Kazakhstan reported.

The minister noted that the largest oil producers in the world are Saudi Arabia and Russia, besides Iran, Brazil and Mexico produce a lot.

“Therefore, reduction or increase in oil production in Kazakhstan “does not play a big role”,” the minister said.

Bozumbayev reminded that the Kashagan field was launched just a month ago.

“Any limits for Kashagan oil production are out of question, because we have liabilities and a lot of money have been invested,” Bozumbayev told reporters.

Bozumbayev noted that Kazakhstan plans to sell the first Kashagan oil until the yearend.

However, the minister said that natural decline in oil production is observed in a number of other fields in Kazakhstan. He noted that these fields require new drilling works and they cannot maintain production at current oil prices.

“But it is premature to say that we are going to limit oil production,” Bozumbayev said.

The Kashagan field, which has earned the unfortunate nickname “cash-all-gone” due to a series of expensive overruns, finally started up in October 2016.

The field, first discovered in 2000, is developed by Kazakhstan’s state oil company, KazMunayGas, and a consortium of some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

Kashagan is considered to be the world’s largest discovery in the last 30 years, combined with the Tengiz Field. The reservoir lies at the depth of some 4,200 meters below the shallow waters of the northern part of the Caspian Sea.

Kazakhstan’s economy depends heavily on the oil sector. It accounts for an estimated 20 percent of GDP, 50 percent of fiscal revenues, and 60 percent of exports

The country’s proven oil reserve as of early 2016 stood at 30 billion barrels, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Largest oil fields of the country alongside with the Kashagan are Tengiz and Karachaganak.

Gunay Hasanova is AzerNews’ staff journalist