Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Production from part of Kashagan oil field in the Kazakh waters of the Caspian Sea should reach capacity by the end of the year, an operating company said.
According to the economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Kazakhstan was producing around 1.38 million barrels of oil per day last year with the main share of growth coming from Kashagan.
The North Caspian Operating Co., a joint venture operating the giant oil field in the Kazakh waters of the Caspian Sea, confirmed to UPI that production from Kashagan was holding steady at 160,000 bpd and production would accelerate to 180,000 bpd in the coming months.
Once secondary production methods are optimized to increase pressure in the reservoir, a spokesperson for the NCOC said the first phase of Kashagan "is expected to reach production capacity of 370,000 barrels per day by the end of 2017."
Production at Kashagan, which holds an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil, was halted in October 2013, less than a month after it started, when a pipeline associated with the field cracked open. Operations resumed in September and by October, the consortium said the first batch of crude oil from the field was being processed and destined for exports.
The joint venture said it's produced more than 7 million barrels of crude oil and an ultra-light form of oil called condensate since production from Kashagan resumed in late 2016 and most of that was exported to the foreign market.
Kazakhstan is one of the non-OPEC members committed to a supply-side adjustment aimed at easing the glut of oil on the market that dragged crude oil prices lower last year. In October, OPEC said Brent crude oil prices came under pressure in part from increased output from Russia and Kazakhstan's "massive" Kashagan oil field.