* Kashagan's commercial output, first oil shipment seen in
* Government may revise 2014 oil output forecast for
By Raushan Nurshayeva
ASTANA, Sept 18 Kazakhstan, whose giant Kashagan
oilfield started output last week, expects the deposit to
achieve commercial production in October and produce around 8
million tonnes of crude in 2014, Oil & Gas Minister Uzakbai
Karabalin said on Wednesday.
"We already have (output of) around 40,000 barrels per day
(bpd), and we hope they will achieve commercial production there
in early October," Karabalin told a news briefing.
He said the target for "commercial output" under a contract
with the multi-national consortium developing Kashagan was
"In 2014 we expect around 8 million tonnes of oil output at
Kashagan," said Karabalin, a technocrat and professional oilman.
The world's biggest oil find in decades, Kashagan is
expected to help Kazakhstan sustain annual economic rates of up
to 7 percent in coming years. Kazakhstan's gross domestic
product grew by 5 percent last year.
Central Asia's largest economy and the second-largest
ex-Soviet oil producer after Russia, Kazakhstan has forecast
Kashgan will produce 1 million bpd from 2020 and eventually
reach 1.5 million bpd.
It took about 13 years and around $50 billion to launch
output at Kashagan, which is located off western Kazakhstan in
the shallow Caspian Sea which freezes during harsh winters.
The launch of production meant that the consortium members
avoided fines for missing an October 1 start deadline.
KazMunaiGas, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell
and France's Total and Italy's ENI
each hold 16.81 percent stakes in Kashagan. Japan's Inpex
owns 7.56 percent.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) acquired an
8.33 percent stake this year. The deal, estimated to be worth $5
billion, followed Kazakhstan's decision in July to use its
pre-emptive rights to buy an 8.40 percent stake from
The figure for Kashagan's 2014 output announced by Karabalin
is likely to push the government to revise its conservative
forecast for the country's oil production for the next year -
now set at 83 million tonnes.
Kazakhstan expects oil output to rise to 82 million tonnes
this year from 79.2 million.
Karabalin cited "a pessimistic scenario", under which
Kazakhstan's output would exceed 110 million tonnes by 2030. He
said the oil reserves which Kazakhstan holds today are enough to
produce oil for another 50 or 60 years.