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Total Says No Output Expected From Kashagan Oilfield This Year

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April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Kashagan, Kazakhstan’s largest oilfield that’s been halted following a leak, will probably go without any output this year and may yield a small quantity next year, said Total SA, which owns a portion of the venture.

“No production can be expected in 2014,” Total’s Upstream President Yves-Louis Darricarrere told a CIS Oil & Gas conference today in Paris. An investigation into the cause of the leak is nearing completion and there may be a “little” production in 2015, he said.

Kashagan, which began operations in September after several delays since 2005, was producing about 60,000 barrels a day before the leak on Oct. 9. The project involved drilling from a man-made island to unlock crude 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) under the seabed in a pressurized reservoir with a high concentration of poisonous sour gas.

Total, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA each hold 16.81 percent in the project. Japan’s Inpex Corp. owns 7.56 percent, while state-owned KazMunaiGaz National Co. has retained 16.88 percent. China National Petroleum Corp. bought an 8.33 percent stake in September.

The probe into the Kashagan leak depends on inspection of offshore installations that has to wait until ice melts on the Caspian Sea, Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s head of exploration and production, said April 11. The investigation could enable stakeholders to gauge the problem and the time needed to fix it.

Kazakhstan is seeking to increase oil output from existing fields to make up for Kashagan, a government minister has said. The International Energy Agency said in a monthly report published April 11 it doesn’t expect Kashagan to start output until the second quarter of next year at the earliest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Indranil Ghosh

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