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Kazakhstan Rejects Report About Further Oil Output Cut

Kazakhstan has no plans to cut its crude oil production further, rejecting a report from Russia’s TASS agency that the Central Asian country was ready to cut deeper to offset an increase in the output from its huge offshore field, Kashagan, in the Caspian Sea.

The TASS report quoted Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih as saying that Astana had promised to do “everything possible” to compensate for the output increase at the Kashagan field to keep its end of the bargain with OPEC. The agency also quoted the Kazakh Energy Minister as saying that the government will discuss its quota following said output increase.

Now, a spokesperson for the North Caspian Operating Company—the consortium in charge of developing Kashagan—told UPI that the company has so far not had reason to reconsider its production plans for the rest of the year. “At this time we have not been officially informed of any basis for modifying production plans for 2017,” the spokesperson said.

Kazakhstan is a party to the original production agreement struck by OPEC and 11 non-OPEC producers last year, committing to shave off 20,000 bpd from its total daily production. Kashagan, however, which started commercial production last September, pumped some 180,000 bpd as of May with plans to raise this to 370,000 bpd by the end of the current year. The field is estimated to hold between 9 and 13 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil.

UPI cited information from OPEC that reveals average crude oil production in Kazakhstan stood at 1.72 million barrels daily over the first quarter of the year, up by some 40,000 bpd from a year earlier but, the cartel said, Astana had undertaken to reduce production at other fields to offset the rising output at Kashagan.

The consortium operating Kashagan involves Exxon, Eni’s subsidiary Agip, CNPC, Japan’s Inpex, Shell, Total, and Kazakhstan’s state-owned major Kazmunaygaz.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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