Kashagan output may not start till 2016 - FT

Reuters

MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - Output at Kazakhstan's huge Kashagan oilfield may not start until 2016, the Financial Times said on Sunday, citing Kazakhstan's minister for economy and budget planning.

Erbolat Dossayev told the FT he hoped production could be restarted late next year. "But if not, we will wait until 2016," the FT cited him as saying in an interview.

Production at the offshore deposit, the world's biggest oil find in 35 years, started in September but was halted in early October after the detection of gas leaks in the $50 billion project's pipeline network.

Earlier this month French major Total said no oil production was to be expected from Kashagan this year and it was not likely to yield much next year either.

In March, Kazakh officials slapped a $737 million ecological damage fine on the consortium running the field, which includes Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Kazakh state-run KazMunaiGas.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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