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Massive Kazakh Oilfield Weeks Away From Restoring Output

The massive Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan will not return to full oil production until at least October, Kazakhstan's energy minister told Reuters on Friday, adding that it would also take a few more weeks for two Black Sea oil loading terminals to return to operations.

In early August, the offshore oilfield Kashagan, which pumps more than 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), was shut down after a gas leak was detected on the site.

A few days later, the field operator said that it would partially restart production, and upon completion of repairs and integrity verification, full production would be restored at the facility 

According to Kazakhstan's Energy Minister Bulat Akchulakov, the Kashagan oilfield will resume normal operations "in October at best."

"We expect, we would be probably able to switch it on in October at best. We are studying now, at which capacity and how," Akchulakov told Reuters on Friday.

Industry sources have estimated that oil output at Kashagan was around 100,000 bpd at the end of August.

Kazakhstan's oil production and exports have been lower in recent weeks due to the partial outage at Kashagan and urgent repairs needed at two of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium's (CPC) terminals on the Black Sea.

Crude oil production in Kazakhstan, which is part of the OPEC+ output deal, plunged by 13% in August from July. Excluding condensate, oil production in Kazakhstan dropped to 1.196 million bpd last month, down from 1.378 million bpd, according to the data cited by Reuters sources.

Moreover, oil exports from Kazakhstan via the Black Sea terminal of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) were expected to face at least a month of reduced shipments and disrupted loading schedules due to urgent repairs needed at two of the terminal's three Single Point Moorings, the consortium said at the end of August. 

Energy Minister Akchulakov told Reuters today that all three Single Point Moorings would resume operations before the middle of October.

By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com

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  • Hugh Williams on September 17 2022 said:
    The Kashgan oil field has been a terror from the start. Over $50 billion was spent on development. The main problem is the high content of H2S gas which is deadly poisonous and very corrosive. The NG is also at very high pressure. A very dangerous combination.

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