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Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field on track for April-May shutdown
24 January 2019 , 18:00Neftegaz.RU597
Astana, January 24 - Neftegaz.RU. Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field is on track for a complete maintenance shutdown lasting around 45 days that will take place in April-May, the operating company said on January 23, signaling a likely reduction in CPC crude flows from Novorossiisk, Platts reported.
The shutdown entails preventative and predictive maintenance of equipment at the main artificial island used for production, Island D, and at the Bolashak processing facility near Atyrau, a spokeswoman for the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) told Platts.
Last year Kashagan became the 2nd-largest source for the CPC crude oil blend, most of which comes from Kazakh oil fields. The crude is transported by pipeline across southern Russia to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, where CPC loadings hit a record-high 1.52 million b/d in December.
Kashagan production has reached well over 300,000 b/d, and Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said this month he expected it to reach 370,000 b/d in the 2nd half of this year. Last August, NCOC head Bruno Jardin said he expected production could reach 470,000 b/d under its 1st development phase, through drilling, de-bottlenecking and upgrades to gas compression and injection equipment. He did not specify a timeframe.
The Kashagan development, costing over $50 billion, suffered repeated delays and technical issues, including leaking pipes linked to the very high levels of hydrogen sulphide in the unprocessed crude, which resulted in the original start of production in 2013 being aborted, before it eventually came on stream in 2016.
NCOC has said this spring's maintenance is likely to include opening, cleaning [and] repairing equipment and vessels of technological lines, and replacing worn-out equipment in accordance with regulatory requirements...carrying out planned production projects [and] implementing engineering solutions aimed at improvement of the efficiency of technological processes.
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