Kazakhstan to have new operator for Kashagan

By: Aynur Jafarova

Kazakhstan is going to create a new operator to develop the country’s giant Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea.

The news was announced by Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin at a press conference on May 27.

“NCOC, the operating company, is undergoing transformations, and, accordingly a new unified management system is being created. That’s to say, a new operator will be created for the Kashagan field. It will include the best specialists of all the contractors of the consortium,” Karabalin said.

The creation of the new operator is planned to be completed by September with the aim of ensuring more effective work at the field.

“We were not very satisfied with the work organization system at the Kashagan field. It was costly and decision-making was difficult and too time-consuming,” the minister said.

A new director general has already been appointed for the new operator, Karabalin added.

With recoverable oil reserves estimated at 11 billion barrels, the Kashagan field is believed to be the largest oil field in the world after Prudo Bay in Alaska. Its natural gas reserves are also estimated at over 1 trillion cubic meters.

Oil production in the field started on September 11, 2013. However, operations had to be stopped on September 24 due to a gas leak in the onshore section of the gas pipeline running from Island D to the Bolashak onshore processing facility.

The Department of Emergency Situations was immediately briefed on the regulations. Production was resumed, but stopped again on October 9 after the detection of another gas leak.

The commercial production at the field is expected to be resumed in late 2015.


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