Eni CEO says unlikely Kashagan re-start delayed to 2015

Reuters

MILAN, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Oil production from Kazakhstan'sKashagan field is unlikely to be delayed to 2015 after outputfrom the world's biggest crude discovery in half a century washalted due to a gas leak, the CEO of Italy's energy group Eni said on Friday.

Eni is part of the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC),which is developing Kashagan and also includes Kazakh state oilfirm KazMunaiGas, U.S. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total, and Japan's Inpex.

Asked if production might only be restarted in 2015 assuggested by some in the industry, Paolo Scaroni said: "No, Ireally don't think so. Within a few weeks we should understand(the problem), it shouldn't take that long."

Scaroni also said the company was ready to start with aplanned share buyback but it would take time to complete it. Hesaid a previous buyback, also for up to 10 percent of thegroup's capital, had taken nine years to complete.

"It's not like this one will take nine months, it requires a long time."

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