The giant Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan hit a record-high oil production of 400,000 bpd on Tuesday, a few weeks after returning from planned maintenance, three sources familiar with the field’s production data told Reuters on Wednesday.
Before the month-long halt due to maintenance, the Kashagan oil field was pumping between 330,000 bpd and 340,000 bpd.
Planned maintenance at Kashagan began on April 14 and ended on May 19, ten days ahead of schedule, Kazakhstan’s energy ministry said in a statement on May 20, adding that on the first day of production resumption, output reached 70,000 bpd.
In recent months, crude oil production at Kashagan, which started in 2016, has been more than 300,000 bpd, making the Kazakh field one of the largest offshore oil fields.
Kashagan has reserves of 13 billion barrels of crude and in-place resources of as much as 38 billion barrels. Its development has been challenging, mainly because of climatic and geological peculiarities, and because of cost overruns that saw the final budget more than double on the initial US$20 billion to US$50 billion. There have been plans to bring the field’s production rate to half a million barrels daily.
Kazakhstan is part of the non-OPEC group of oil producers that have joined OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the oil market and prop up oil prices. Kazakhstan has pledged to cut 40,000 bpd of its production and keep it at 1.86 million bpd between January and June.
Kazakhstan’s oil production averaged 1.8 million bpd in the first four months of 2019, according to energy ministry data.
After a meeting of an OPEC+ panel in Saudi Arabia in May, Kazakhstan’s energy ministry saidthat the country is interested in continued coordination of the OPEC+ producers to regulate the oil market.
Kazakhstan sees the need for continued cooperation and is ready to discuss possible changes to the deal, the energy ministry said. The OPEC and non-OPEC meetings are currently scheduled to take place on June 25 and 26 in Vienna, although reports have started to emerge that the cartel may delay the summit to the following week.