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Costly Risk In New Oil Exploration

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Over the past few years, the large Western oil majors have been plagued by projects running substantially over budget, and taking much longer to complete than initially estimated. These hurdles are part of the broader challenge facing oil companies — how to cope with the end of the era of “easy oil.” Let’s take a closer look at one project — the Kashagan oil field — that epitomizes these challenges.

A primer on Kashagan
Kashagan is a vast untapped oil field in Kazakhstan with massive hydrocarbon potential. Yet, despite its operators — a consortium of companies including ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , Eni, and Royal Dutch Shell – having plowed more than $30 billion into the project over the past decade, the field has yet to produce a single drop of oil.



Kashagan has long been known in the industry as “Cash-all-gone” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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