Exxon Mobil Corp. on March 14th confirmed that the Offshore Kazakstan International Operating Co. (OKIOC) had completed drilling on the Kashagan West 1 well offshore Kazakstan and had detected hydrocarbons at the location.
The well, which was spudded in October 2000, is located 47 miles south of Atyrau in the northeast Caspian Sea and was drilled to a depth of 16,200 feet.
The Kashagan West well is the second to be drilled on the field, potentially one of the world’s largest oil discoveries in decades.
After completing the Kashagan West 1 well in the second quarter, the Sunkar drilling rig will return to Kashagan East to begin appraisal drilling.
The OKIOC, which groups Exxon Mobil, Italy’s Eni, BG, BP Amoco, Japan’s Inpex, Phillips Petroleum Co., Royal Dutch/Shell, Statoil and TotalFinaElf, had first discovered oil at the massive offshore field in June 2000.
TotalFinaElf announced in February that it would buy shares in the project from BP and Statoil in the hopes of clinching the contested operatorship of the project, which went instead to Eni.
The consortium had been under pressure from Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev to choose an operator or risk losing the project.
Nazarbayev has boasted that the estimated reserves from Kashagan could well lift his country’s crude output from about 615,000 b/d to 8 million b/d by 2015, putting it in the same league as OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)