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Kashagan to Launch Output

ASTANA — The giant Kashagan oil field is set to launch long-delayed oil output within days, the Kazakh oil and gas minister said Tuesday, meaning a consortium developing the deposit would avoid fines for missing an Oct. 1 production deadline.

The North Caspian Oil Company (NCOC), had several times shifted the deadline for production of the first oil from the field after missing the original 2005 target.

This year, the final deadline was shifted to Oct. 1 from June, and the Kazakh authorities said they could refuse to recompense part of the project costs to consortium members if the first oil from Kashagan started flowing after September.

Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin told journalists Tuesday that output of first oil had been postponed from Sept. 9.

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