EIA Assesses Kazakhstan’s Oil Prospects
October 29, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) — Nearly half of Kazakhstan’s proven oil reserves are situated in the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
The EIA, the U.S. Energy Department’s statistical arm, said Kazakhstan is estimated to hold 30 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. Kashagan, the fifth largest oil field in the world in terms of volume, holds an estimated 13 billion barrels of oil.
The North Caspian Operations Co., a consortium of national and international energy companies, announced the first barrels of oil from Kashagan were produced Sept. 11. A production rate of 75,000 barrels of oil per day from the field was reached in early October.
The EIA said Kashagan suffered several “repeated delays” that it says were associated with the high cost of operating the offshore field.
Kazakhstan became an oil producer in 1911 but didn’t achieve a meaningful production level until the 1960s, when oil production reached 500,000 bpd, a record for the time.
“Since the mid-1990s and with the help of major international oil companies, Kazakhstan’s production soared to more than 1 million bpd in 2003,” the EIA said Monday in its updated country assessment.