(Adds details, background)
ASTANA Oct 12 Work to bring onstream the giant
Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan is going to plan and some crude
has already been processed and put in storage, the country's
energy minister said on Wednesday.
Kashagan will increase the country's oil production and
Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev reiterated that reducing oil
output in line with OPEC plans was "not on the agenda" for
Kazakhstan, Central Asia's biggest crude exporter.
Four wells were already producing at Kashagan with a total
output of 90,000 barrels per day, he told reporters. Bozumbayev
did not say how much of that was oil and how much was gas that
would then be flared or injected back into the reservoir.
The field off Kazakhstan's Caspian coast has cost about $50
billion to develop and first started production in 2013, but
output was suspended shortly after its launch because of
technical problems with the gas pipelines.
The NCOC consortium developing Kashagan comprises China
National Petroleum Corp, Exxon Mobil, Eni
, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Inpex
Kashagan is initially expected to produce 75,000 barrels per
day (bpd) in October, rising to between 150,000 and 180,000 bpd
in November and December this year.
(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov;
Editing by Dmitry Solovyov and Susan Fenton)