(Adds details, background)
ASTANA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - 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 and KazMunaiGas.
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)