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Bloomberg: Kazakhstan Cuts Forecast for Oil Output 13%; Projects Delayed

By Nariman Gizitdinov and Eduard Gismatullin

June 28 (Bloomberg) — Kazakhstan, the second-largest oil producer among the former Soviet states after Russia, cut its forecast for oil output by 13 percent because of project delays and pipeline bottlenecks.

The nation now plans to pump 140 million tons of crude (2.8 million barrels a day) in 2015, down from an earlier target of 3.2 million barrels a day, according to a Kazakh Energy Ministry report distributed today in London. The nation holds 35 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

“As of today, the Kazakh shelf of the Caspian Sea and some other infrastructure projects are the priority for Kazakhstan,” the ministry said.

The Kazakh government is putting pressure on Eni SpA and its partners, which are developing Kashagan, the nation’s largest oil field, to reach peak output faster and meet its 2015 production target. The Energy Ministry said last month it expected Kashagan production to be delayed until 2011 instead of starting in 2008 as originally planned.

The Russian government has been delaying for more than two years approval for expanding a Chevron Corp.-operated pipeline. The line, developed by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, is the main route for exporting Kazakh oil to world markets.

Uzakbai Karabalin, the president of Kazakh state-owned KazMunaiGaz, last week met Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, to discuss Kazakh oil shipments across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and beyond.

The two countries “agreed to speed up talks” to develop a trans-Caspian system that could ship Kazakh crude to a BP Plc- operated pipeline that pumps oil across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, KazMunaiGaz said yesterday in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at [email protected]
Last Updated: June 28, 2007 05:19 EDT

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