Kashagan oilfield may not come on stream until 2016, new Eni CEO suggests

Kashagan oilfield: Claudio Descalzi, CEO designate of the Italian oil & gas company Eni, does not anticipate Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea coming on stream until next year at the very earliest. Gas leaks attributed to faulty welding put a halt to production on the $50bn project in October. “It’s worse than we thought,”  he told analysts last week. “We have already put contingency plans in place to cover a possible lack of production in 2015.” The field is being developed by the North Caspian Operating Company consortium, whose members include Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total  and  KazMunaiGas as well as Eni and which is now  considering changing the width of the oil and gas pipelines running to shore from their current 28-inch diameter to 20 inches. The  extra costs and the timeframe involved in replacing the pipelines will not be known until June. Kashagan’s hydrocarbon reserves are 4,200 metres beneath the sea bed and the associated gas reaching the surface is mixed with some of the highest concentrations of toxic, metal-eating hydrogen sulphide (H2S) ever encountered. Kazakhstan News