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Bloomberg: Kazakhstan Wants More Output From Eni Kashagan Field (Update1)

By Nariman Gizitdinov

June 20 (Bloomberg) — Kazakhstan will push an Eni SpA-led venture developing the giant Kashagan oil field to reach peak output faster, as the Caspian Sea state tries to triple its crude production by 2015.

The Energy Ministry wants production to reach 1.5 million barrels a day, it said in an e-mailed reply to questions from Bloomberg late yesterday. Eni Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said in April production would start in 2010 and peak at 1.2 million barrels a day in 2015.

Kazakhstan, the second-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union, after Russia, needs to tap Kashagan’s output to reach its goal of pumping 3.2 million barrels of crude a day by 2015. Kashagan is the world’s biggest oil discovery in 30 years.

The Energy Ministry said last month it expected Kashagan production to be delayed until 2011 instead of 2008 as previously planned. It said additional infrastructure still needed to be built to ensure worker safety and environmental protection.

The ministry will undertake “all efforts” to minimize any deviations from the earlier project plan, it said, adding that it expects the venture to increase output from Kashagan over the contract period. Kazakhstan may seek “compensation for the possible losses to the nation” caused by delays, the ministry said. KazMunaiGaz, the country’s state-owned energy company, said in January it will investigate the delays and cost overruns, which led to the venture paying $150 million in fines in 2004.

The ministry will consider the issue of “introducing the claims” against Eni after the venture submits a new plan in July and the investigation into its “project management quality” is completed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty, through the Moscow newsroom at [email protected] .
Last Updated: June 20, 2007 09:20 EDT

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