ASTANA – Oil production at Kashagan, the world’s largest oil field at the Kazakh part of the Caspian shelf, for 11 months of the current year amounted to 12 million tons, which is 120.6% higher than the plan for 11 months of the current year, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev said.

According to Bozumbayev, the expected volume of oil production in Kashagan in 2018 could reach 13 million tons instead of the planned 12 million tons. “If 12 million tons are divided by 11 months, and then multiplied by 12, the figure is clear – 13 million tons,” Bozumbayev told reporters after a government meeting on December 11.

According to the Ministry of Energy, at the end of last year, 8.35 million tons of oil was produced at Kashagan.

Kashagan is one of the largest fields in the world discovered in the last 40 years, as well as the largest offshore oil field.

Commercial mining at the field began on November 1, 2016. The field is being developed by the international consortium North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) in accordance with the agreement on production sharing in the North Caspian Sea of November 18, 1997. Industrial mining at the field began on September 11, 2013.

According to the project operator, total oil reserves amount to 38 billion barrels or 6 billion tons, of which about 10 billion barrels were recoverable. Kashagan also has more than 1 trillion barrels in reserves of natural gas.

The energy ministry said the total oil production in three major projects amounted to 49 million tons (at the Kashagan field – 12 million tons, at Tengiz – 25.9 million tons (103.3% of the plan for 11 months of this year), at Karachaganak – 11.1 million tons – 101.5% of the plan for 11 months of this year).

“In general, the volume of oil and condensate production in Kazakhstan for 11 months amounted to about 82.4 million tons, showing an increase of 4.9% for the corresponding period of 2017 and 3.8% for the plan for 11 months of the current year,” Bozumbayev said.

For 11 months, Kazakhstan exported 66 million tons of oil, which is 3.8% more than in the same period of 2017.

Gas production amounted to 50.5 billion cubic meters, slightly below what was planned for the whole of 2018 at 53.4 billion cubic meters.

“The growth of gas production compared to January-November 2017 amounted to 4.8%, or 6.1% more than the plan for 11 months of the current year

Gas exports amounted to 17.9 billion cubic meters, up 14% from the same period in 2017.