Oil production kicks off in Kashagan, world's largest oil field outside the Middle East
World’s largest oil field outside the Middle East- Kashagan field in Kazakhstan started production of crude. Although the starting production is just 26,000 barrels a day, the reservoir promises about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to global output in future. If it attains that level, the oil will be equivalent to about 1.6% of the world’s total, or roughly the amount Libya produces.
A consortium of oil companies including KazMunayGas, the national oil company of Kazakhstan; Shell of the Netherlands; Total of France; Inpex of Japan; Exxon; Conoco; and Eni – are slowly but –steadily developing the oil field.
Kashagan Field is an offshore oil field in the Kazakhstan’s zone of the Caspian Sea. The field, discovered in 2000, is located in the northern part of the Caspian Sea close to Atyrau and it is considered the world’s largest discovery in the last 30 years, combined with the Tengiz Field.
Delay in the Project:
Although it was discovered in 2000, the project was delayed due to technical problems, disputes with the Kazakh government, and infighting among the oil companies. The project is already five years behind schedule and has cost $41 billion.
A Challenging Project:
The Kashagan oilfield project is one of the world’s most challenging projects as the developers have to confront harsh conditions as sea ice during the winter, temperature variation from -35 to 40 °C, extremely shallow water and high level of hydrogen sulphide. There are environmental concerns too as the oil in the field in under high pressure which increases the chances of spills.