Dubai: Kazakhstan will resume production in the Kashagan oil and gasfield by the end of 2016, according to the First Deputy Chairman of state energy firm Kazmunaygas.
The Kashagan field, located west of Kazakhstan in the Caspian Sea, is the world’s largest oil discovery in the last four decades.
A gas leak in a main pipeline of the field forced production to stop in October 2013 just a month after it had started.
But on Wednesday, Christopher Hopkinson, First Deputy Chairman of Kazmunaygas, said in Dubai that the field will be back online by “the end of the year.”
Kazakhstan is a major oil producer, the second-largest out of the former Soviet states after Russia, churning out 1.6 million barrels a day in 2014, the same as Opec member Angola.
But the low oil price has put pressure on Kazakhstan. Opec forecasts the country to produce 1.55 million barrels a day this year, 40,000 less than 2015.
However, Kazakhstan is not planning to wait for prices to rebound with Hopkinson telling a business forum in Dubai the field is “on target to be ready.”
A reported $50 billion (Dh183.65 billion) of investment have been invested in the Kashagan oilfield over the past two decades as international and national oil companies have tried to figure out how to tap it.
Now that they have found a way, Kazakhstan’s decision to resume production under the current oil price is likely to add further strain on the oil market that is suffering from a global glut. The field has an estimated recoverable reserves of 9-13 billion barrels.