Kazakhstan says "disappointed" over Kashagan setback

ASTANA, April 17 Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:17am EDT

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ASTANA, April 17 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's oil and gas minister said on Thursday he was "disappointed" over the slow development of the giant Kashagan oil field, but that he saw no legal reasons to pressure the consortium which oversees the offshore project.

"We can't push (the consortium). This is a huge and dangerous field, and we can't pressure legally," Uzakbai Karabalin said after meeting members of the consortium, which include Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Kazakh state-run KazMunaiGas.

"I said that we are hugely disappointed by the way the project is progressing," he said.

Production at the offshore deposit, the world's biggest oil find in 35 years, started in September but was halted in early October after the detection of gas leaks in the $50 billion project's pipeline network. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Megan Davies)

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