Whilst Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have added over 1 million bpd to the world’s oil supply since 2005, the two countries are now diverging in their ability to grow production and influence global supply, according to an analyst within research and consulting firm, GlobalData.
ACG project has already achieved its peak
Anna Belova, GlobalData’s Senior Upstream Analyst covering the former Soviet Union, says that both countries have centered their growth strategy on giant offshore fields in the Caspian Sea. However, whilst the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan is yet to move into uninterrupted full-field development, the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) project in Azerbaijan has already achieved its peak production and is declining.
Belova comments: “While ACG is expected to decline in the near-to-mid term, the operator’s commitment to development and injection well drilling will ensure maximum reserve recovery under the contractual terms. With Shah Deniz 2 expansion scheduled for first gas in 2018, additional condensate volumes will partially offset the overall crude decline forecast for Azerbaijan in the mid term.”
Update on Kashagan
She continues: “In Kazakhstan, the giant offshore Kashagan project is expected to start commercial flows in late 2017, following the resolution of leakages in pipelines due to produced fluids’ high sulfur content. By 2020, Kashagan is expected to add around 400 000 bpd of crude to Kazakhstan’s production, before adding over 1 million bpd to the global supply once the field is fully online.”
Belova also notes that reserve replacement over the past decade has been driven in both countries by discoveries and extensions at the aforementioned giant fields.
“Recent changes to Kazakh licensing are incentivising exploration in the country. The recent Velikoye discovery just across the border in Russia, with estimated recoverable reserves of over 2 billion bbls, shows the exploration potential in the region, and will allow Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to continue their century-old oil and gas industry in the long term.”
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn