KASHAGAN WILL RELAUNCH
Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan oil field will relaunch in June 2017, China's CNPC first vice president Wang Zhongcai told reporters in Moscow Thursday, in comments that indicate the project may be delayed beyond recent forecasts given by other consortium partners at the end of last year. Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGaz, which owns the largest stake in the project, has said previously that the field would relaunch by the end of 2016.
In March KMG chairman Sauat Mybayev said the relaunch could be as early as October. Other consortium partners have indicated the field would relaunch by the end of this year.
Kashagan is operated by North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC), in which KMG holds 16.88%; Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total each hold 16.1%; CNPC holds 8.33%; and Japan's Inpex has a 7.56% stake.
Located in the Caspian Sea, Kashagan has recoverable resources of around 10 billion barrels.
But the project has so far failed to live up to this promise, experiencing numerous delays.
Most recently an attempt to start production in 2013 had to be aborted due to the discovery of leaks in pipes needed to transport the oil to shore.
The leaks were related to ultra-high sulfur levels in the oil. Resolving this issue is key to a successful relaunch.
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