* Kashagan not expected to produce oil this year
* Kazakhstan plans to increase oil production by 2.5 percent
* Government to meet Kashagan shareholders Thursday
(Adds detail, quote)
By Raushan Nurshayeva
ASTANA, April 14 Kazakhstan wants to make up for
a possible lack of output this year from the Kashagan oil
project by increasing output at other projects by at least 1.5
million tonnes (30,000 barrels per day), the economy minister
said on Monday.
He said the government would meet Kashagan stakeholders on
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.
"Additional work and negotiations with users of large
subsoil reserves will be held about the possible increase of
output and exports from other fields by at least 1.5 million
tonnes," Kazakh Economy and Budget Planning Minister Yerbolat
Last week, France's Total, a shareholder in
Kashagan, said it did not expect much oil output, if any, from
the oilfield this year.
It is awaiting results of further analysis to assess the
costs and delays facing it and its Kashagan consortium partners
which include Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch
Shell and Kazakh state-run KazMunaiGas.
The government had great expectations for Kashagan to start
producing oil last year and officials had said they hoped to see
it produce 22 million barrels of crude by the end of the year.
Last month, Kazakh officials imposed a $737 million fine on
the consortium for ecological damage.
MEETING ON KASHAGAN
Dosayev said government officials would meet Kashagan
shareholders on Thursday to discuss the project.
"On April 17, a meeting with key investors will be held by
the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to discuss the
current work - what is needed to be done this year. They should
offer a detailed plan on what is necessary, what is to change or
not," he said.
Kashagan has presented huge engineering challenges since
work began 13 years ago. Much of it is built on artificial
islands to avoid damage from pack ice in a shallow sea that
freezes for five months a year.
The economy of the Central Asian nation of 17 million relies
heavily on oil exports. Kazakhstan holds 3 percent of the
world's recoverable oil reserves and is the second largest
post-Soviet oil producer after Russia.
Kazakhstan plans to boost oil production this year by 2.5
percent to 83 million tonnes (1.7 million barrels per day).
Its largest producer is Chevron-led Tengizchevroil
(TCO), which pumps oil at the huge Tengiz onshore field in
(Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Jason Bush and Jason