One of the largest discoveries of the decade and possibly one of the most challenging, the project faced not only the technical difficulties of extracting the oil in the harsh climate but also the political and geopolitical altercations associated with the region. Because of these hurdles, the original production date which was predicted to be 2005 was postponed to 2008 or possibly 2009.Kashagan East 1, the first well discovered on the Kashagan field in 2000 was the Kashagan East 1 well which was drilled in 3 meters of waters to a depth of 5200 meters. During the tests the well flowed at a rate of 600 cubic meters of oil per day and 200,000 cubic meters of gas per day on a 32/64” choke.Kashagan West 1 was the second discovery well. Discovered in 2001, the tests showed that the well flowed at a rate of 3,400 barrels of oil per day, while the oil gravity measured between 42 and 45 API degrees.Kashagan East 2 was discovered in late 2001, Kashagan East 2 was drilled to a depth of 4142 meters and flowed at a rate of 7,400 barrels of oil per day.The rig was adapted at the Astrakhan yard, and measures 165 feet by 270 feet, weighs 6000 tons and can hold a maximum of 100 people. Owned by Parker Drilling the rig has been extensively modified not only to function in the extreme climate but also to keep up with the strict environmental codes since the field lies in a nature preserve. Sunkar also carries three “Arktos”, which are special escape vehicles capable of propelling through water, ice and can move over land as well. Each of these Arktos can carry up to 50 people each.To protect the rig from drifting ice, the Sunkar has two 102” high steel tanks. 24 piles, each weighing 70 tons, which break up the drifting ice before it reaches the steel tanks.The final development plan adopted on 25th February 2004 changed the VAT on the consortium for imported services and goods from 16% to 0%. This plan also administered a fine of $50 million annually for every year that production was delayed after 2005. The requirement to immediately create a gas processing plant was also dropped according to this newly adopted plan.Due to the magnitude of the Kashagan field the project will be developed in three phases: Phase I – Experimental Program to gather data to optimize the next two phases. Phase II – Rapid production Phase III- Production stabilization As production progresses through the phases, it will start off with 75,000 bopd and finally reach a peak production plateau of 1.2 million bopd sometime between 2015 and 2020.
Kashagan, Caspain Sea, ENI, Asia,
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