The offshore oilfield Kashagan in Kazakhstan, which pumps more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), was shut down on Thursday after a gas leak was detected on the site, the field operator said on Friday.
“NCOC, the Operator of the North Caspian Project, confirms that on 3 August 2022, Bolashak Onshore Processing Facility was safely shut down as a result of the detection of a gas release within the perimeter of the site. As per standard procedure, following the gas detectors activation, the facilities have been depressurized to the flare system,” the operator said in a statement today.
In the first quarter of this year, oil production from the Kashagan oilfield dropped to an average of 317,000 bpd, down by 2 percent compared to the same period of 2021.
No people were harmed, and no excessive pollution was detected following the gas leak detected on Thursday, the company added.
“Works are currently underway to resume production operations,” NCOC said, without specifying when production would resume.
As a result of the suspended oil operations at Kashagan, the oil volumes received in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) system have been reduced, the consortium said on Thursday.
The 1,500-km CPC pipeline from the giant Kazakh oilfields to the Russian port on the Black Sea, Novorossiysk, moves over two-thirds of all Kazakhstan export oil along with crude from Russian fields, including those in the Caspian region.
The suspension of the Kashagan oilfield comes weeks after a Russian court ordered last month the suspension of most of Kazakhstan’s crude oil exports Novorossiysk. The ruling was later overturned by a Russian court of appeals.
The exports take place from the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. While the port is in Russia, CPC exports consist of 90 percent crude from Kazakhstan and just 10 percent of Russian oil.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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