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Kashagan launches first oil export

50 billion USD invested in project in 16 years

Baku. 14 October. REPORT.AZ/ Kashagan, a vast oil field in the Caspian Sea, pumped its first crude for export, after about 16 years in development and more than $50 billion of investments.

Report informs citing the Bloomberg agency the venture loaded 26,500 (186,000 barrel) metric tons of crude for export into the country’s pipelines, Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said in a statement. Of that, 7,700 tons ( 54,000 barrel) was sent to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. Reaching stable production will take some time as commissioning work continues both offshore and onshore, the ministry said.

The project has been plagued by multiple delays and cost overruns. A 2008 budget estimate of $38 billion jumped to $53 billion by the end of last year as the partners replaced undersea links after sour gas cracked the pipes. The crude from Kashagan is reaching an already saturated market, with prices at less than half the level of 2013 when the project hit a setback. Expectations for the field’s exports even prompted OPEC to flip supply predictions for next year.

Eni SpA (Italy), the initial operator of the project, has said Kashagan will pump 370,000 barrels a day within a year. Some commentators have suggested that’s optimistic, with U.K. consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. forecasting only about 154,000 barrels a day from the field in 2017.

Kazakhstan has share of 16,88% in Kashagan project, Eni, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil 16,81% each, China National Petroleum - 8,33%, Japan's Inpex has shares of 7,56%.

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