Kashagan Phase II Launch delayed To 2018-2019 - KazMunaiGas

    By Kadyr Toktogulov
     The second phase of development of the giant Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea has been postponed until 2018-2019, the chief executive of Kazakh oil and gas company KazMunaiGas said Thursday, according to the state wealth fund.
     A spokeswoman for state wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna told Dow Jones Newswires that CEO Kairgeldy Kabyldin told of the delay during a meeting of the fund-s management board.
    Samruk-Kazyna manages key state-owned companies, including KazMunaiGas.
     "The group of six Kashagan participants on July 27 told the (Kazakh) oil and gas minister that the time frame for Phase II at the Kashagan field was being put back to 2018-2019," Kabyldin was quoted as saying by Interfax. The spokeswoman confirmed Kabyldin's statement.
     He also said the delay would postpone the start of the Kazakh Caspian Transport System, designed to carry Kazakh oil across the Caspian to Azerbaijan and on to foreign markets, Interfax reported, and was quoted as saying that KazMunaiGas would invest $8 billion in Kashagan between 2010 and 2014.
     KazMunaiGas and the Oil and Gas Ministry couldn't immediately comment. A spokesman for the North Caspian Operating Company, the Kashagan operator, declined to confirm the delay.
     "The results of the review (of the Phase II design concept) will require the approval of the co-venture partners, (the Kazakh) government and regulatory authorities, and discussions will be undertaken over the coming months," NCOC said in an emailed statement.
     The consortium is expected to start commercial oil production from 2012. Production will reach 1 million and 1.5 million barrels a day at the second and third phases respectively.
     Repeated delays to the start of production at Kashagan led to a dispute between Kazakhstan and the consortium which led to KazMunaiGas increasing its stake in the field in 2009, Dow Jones reports.