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April 3rd, 2014:

Kashagan oil field: Stuck between ‘a widow maker’ and ‘a rotating bomb’

Western oil majors struggling to restart production at one of the world’s biggest offshore oilfields in Kazakhstan have found that whole kilometres of pipeline are defective, two people recently returned from the $50 billion project say. Oil company investigators have yet to announce conclusions about what went wrong at Kashagan in October, when onshore pipes carrying corrosive gases sprang leaks and brought offshore production in the Caspian Sea to a halt a month after start-up. Last month, infuriated Kazakh officials slapped a $737 million ecological damage fine on the consortium, which includes Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Kazakh state-run KazMunaiGas. read more

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