Kazakh Pearls Oil Block to Start 2016

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (Dow Jones Newswires), Sept. 23, 2009

Oil production at the Pearls oil block in the Caspian Sea is expected to start in 2016, Chief Executive of KazMunaiTeniz Yermek Marabayev said Wednesday.

Marabayev told reporters in the capital Astana that the start of commercial production at the Pearls, also known as Zhemchuzhiny, in 2016 was "the most optimal" expectation.

He said that "a lot will depend" on exploration work at Naryn and Tulpar oil fields of the block which will start within the next two years.

Oil had earlier been discovered at Auezov and Khazar sections of the Pearls block, Marabayev said, adding that Khazar could be considered a medium oil field with profitable development.

The Pearls oil block is jointly developed by KazMunaiTeniz, a subsidiary of the state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, which owns 40%, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) which also owns 40% and Oman Oil which has the remaining 20%.

KazMunaiGas said the Pearls prospective reserves stand at 358.4 million metric tons, while recoverable reserves stand at 108.5 million tons of oil equivalent.

KazMunaiTeniz and KazMunaiGas did not release expected figures for oil production at the Pearls.

The Pearls is in the northern Kazakh section of the Caspian Sea.  

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