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Kashagan oil late out of gate

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Securing the level of production from the Kashagan oil field off the coast of Kazakhstan came before volumetric benchmarks, an energy spokesman said.

North Caspian Operating Co. announced it reached a production rate of 75,000 barrels of oil per day from the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea early this week. The company said it expected to be able to secure that level within the next few days though an Oct. 1 deadline for 75,000 bpd was missed.

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"We have missed the Oct. 1 deadline as we put production security first," Zhakyp Marabayev, deputy managing director at NCOC, told the Platts energy news website Wednesday from the sidelines of an energy forum in Astana.

NCOC said there were minor leaks and other technical difficulties in the way of the deadline. Operations ceased briefly in September because of the complications. Platts reports a 2008 production agreement between NCOC and the Kazakh government tied the deadline for compensation of field development expenses.

Marabayev didn't indicate if the group would incur any expenses because of the late start.

Kashagan is one of the largest oil fields in the world, with an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil reserves.

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