Kazakhstan 'ousts' Karabalin

Kazakhstani Oil Minister Uzakbay Karabalin has been ousted from the top job as the country reorganises its ministry, according to a report.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has appointed the head of national uranium company Kazatomprom, Vladimir Shkolnik, to lead the new-look ministry, Reuters reported.

Karabalin will serve as first deputy to Shkolnik, Wednesday's report read.

Karabalin recently said that oil output at the troublesome giant Kashagan field will resume in 2016. Oil and gas pipelines at the field have to be replaced after leaks were discovered last year, and this will require buying 200 kilo­metres of pipes and installing them.

“Today, there are two scenarios for the repair and restart of the field. With the optimistic scenario, production at the field will be resumed in the first half of 2016, while with the second that includes completion of construction of the gas pipeline — it is the second half of 2016”, he said late last month, adding that the information will be updated.

Sources earlier told Upstream that the government and Kashagan partners have been considering the possibility of resuming production at Kashagan without delivering produced gas onshore.

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