Kashagan stoppage may alter oil exports schedule
* Unclear when Kashagan may restart oil output
* Transneft, CPC pipelines ready to pump Kashagan oil this month
By Alla Afanasyeva
ALMATY, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's giant offshore oilfield Kashagan has not yet restarted output after an accident last week, casting doubt on the date when first oil can be exported, a senior official from the consortium developing it said on Wednesday.
The world's biggest oil find and the costliest energy project in decades, produced its first oil on Sept. 11. But a gas leak forced the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC)to stop production two weeks later.
Kazakh Oil & Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin said on Sept. 26 that output would be restored within three or four days, and the stoppage would not delay the start of commercial production set for October.
"It's early to talk about the resumption of output, but once it's become possible we will restart it. Depending on this, October (export) volumes will be revised, and there will be new export orders," Zhakyp Marabayev, deputy NCOC director, told reporters.
Kurmangazy Iskaziyev, deputy head of Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, said equipment at the field was being checked for safety before relaunching output.
"We believe that technical issues ... will be resolved. We will load first oil (for export) in October," he said.
Kashagan's crude has already been included in the October schedule of the network of Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft in the volume of 217,000 tonnes. Another 138,500 tonnes are planned to be exported via the CPC pipeline.
It took nearly 13 years and about $50 billion to start output at Kashagan, which is in the Caspian Sea off western Kazakhstan.
It is estimated to hold some 35 billion barrels of oil in place, of which 9 billion to 13 billion barrels are recoverable.
Karabalin said last week that before the accident the deposit had been producing 48,000 barrels per day (bpd). He said the consortium was on track to achieve commercial output - 75,000 bpd - in October to meet its contractual obligations.
He had said earlier that Kashagan was forecast to produce 8 million tonnes of crude in 2014. Under a pessimistic scenario, Kazakhstan's oil output is set to exceed 110 million tonnes by 2010, he said. Output is seen at 82 million tonnes this year.
KazMunaiGas, Italy's ENI, U.S. major ExxonMobil , Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total each hold 16.81 percent stakes in Kashagan. Japan's Inpex owns 7.56 percent.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) acquired an 8.33 percent stake this year. The deal, estimated to be worth $5 billion, followed Kazakhstan's decision in July to use its pre-emptive rights to buy an 8.40 percent stake from U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips in the field for a similar price. (Additional reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva in Almaty, writing by Dmitry Solovyov, editing by William Hardy)
- Air strike kills 15 civilians in Yemen by mistake: officials
- Pope attacks mega-salaries and wealth gap in peace message
- North Korea says Jang Song Thaek, uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, executed
- North Korea executes leader's powerful uncle in rare public purge |
- Probation for drunk Texas teen driver who killed four sparks backlash