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Kazakh oil telling for industry’s future

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Feb. 24 (UPI) — The Kashagan oil field in the Kazakh waters of the Caspian Sea has great potential but points to a difficult time ahead for the energy sector, officials said.

Campbell Keir, director of Royal Dutch Shell in Kazakhstan, says the offshore Kashagan field is one of the most technically challenging fields in the industry, which may be the future of the energy sector.

“Shell believes that in the coming decades production from conventional fields will decline, and therefore companies are going to have to develop more difficult, so-called unconventional fields to meet the raising energy demand,” he told New Europe.

Kashagan is one of the biggest oil fields discovered in the past 30 years, but the region lacks export pipelines and other technology needed to realize the full potential there.

Several oil majors expressed interest in an export system to bring Kazakh oil to Caspian ports and on to export routes in Azerbaijan. Keir added his company was very active in the region, committing more than $3 billion so far.

He noted the global economic climate would not impact the long-term investment strategy of Shell despite the precipitous drop in world oil prices.

“At the moment we do not plan to make significant adjustments to our investment projects. However, even if we decide to do so, it should be done very carefully,” he said.

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