Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field still closed due to leaks

ASTANA - Kazakhstan will export 1.5 million tons of oil from its Kashagan oil field this year as the government cooperates with oil firms to increase output, Yerbolat Dosayev, Kazakh Economy and udget planning minister, said Monday.

The country is aiming to produce 15 million tons of oil per year by 2022 and the government had hoped to reach a production target of 2.4 million tons of oil this year, but Dosayev has said this is now unlikely.

Kazahstan's Kashagan oil field is located in the northern part of the Caspian Sea and is one of the world’s biggest to be discovered in the last 35 years according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It is estimated that this oil field has a 35 billion barrel oil reserve making it the fifth biggest oil field in the world.

Energy firms including Shell, Exxon and Total established a consortium and started to extract oil in the field in September 2013 but the production was stopped after only two weeks due to leaking pipelines, and currently production is still suspended.

Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbay Karabalin previously announced that the final stage of the investigation concerning the leaking pipelines at the Kashagan oil field would take place in April.

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