Kazakhstan to team up with oil majors to develop Caspian Depression

Jun 02, 2015 12:00 AM

Kazakhstan plans to form a consortium with global energy companies to explore and develop potentially huge hydrocarbon reserves in the Caspian Depression, Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said on Monday.

Central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, Kazakhstan for several years has touted the “Eurasia” project, keen to attract capital and technology to drill super-deep oil wells in its west.

“Based on studies by international experts, the Caspian Depression is estimated to hold giant hydrocarbon reserves of some 60 billion tonnes of oil,” Shkolnik told parliament. “This is why we are starting to implement the Eurasia project with the use of innovative geological technologies.”

“Five of the world’s leading oil and gas companies have displayed interest in this project and we are now forming a consortium,” Shkolnik said.

He gave no details or time frame.

Kazakhstan had originally pinned hopes of a sharp rise in its oil output on the Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea, the world’s biggest oil discovery in decades.

But gas leaks detected at Kashagan halted oil production just a few weeks after its launch in September 2013.

Shkolnik reiterated on Monday that output at Kashagan would not restart before the end of 2016.

Kazakhstan’s oil production will remain stagnant at 80.8 million tonnes this year, he said.

Taking into account Kashagan’s output and higher output at the Chevron-len Tengizchevroil venture, the country’s oil production is forecast to peak at 113 million tonnes in 2031, Shkolnik said.

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