The next expansion phase at Karachaganak will be an important project in terms of what it will bring to both the West Kazakhstan Oblast and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Building on advance production and injection technologies already used at Karachaganak, it will enhance hydrocarbon recovery to increase production and consequent benefit for the Republic.
The partners are also committed to a strategy of sustainable development. Beyond production revenues, the project will also deliver significant socio-economic benefits, including employment opportunities, enhanced local capacity, skills transfer and associated infrastructure development. There is an opportunity for this phase of investment to enable a significant increase in the competitive industrial capacity of Kazakhstan.
KPO’s driver is to fulfil its obligation under the FPSA it has with the Republic of Kazakhstan to continue the development of the Karachaganak Field. In 2013 we continued examining a series of short-term development opportunities to enhance production between the current stage of the field development and future phases.
In particular, the following projects were further developed:
- KPC Gas Debottlenecking Project (KGDBN)
- Western Area Early Development
- Unit 3 Future Development (U3 FD)
- Unit 2 Gas Injection Upgrade
- Karachaganak Expansion Project (KEP)
KPC Gas Debottlenecking Project is designed to manage the increased volumes of gas produced from the field as the gas oil ratio (GOR) increases over time. In 2013 the project progressed through the selection of the most suitable size and is now developing the selected concept through the development of the pre-FEED Design.
The Western Area Early Development Project is part of the staged Plateau Extension development of the Karachaganak Field. Its primary objective is to extend the liquid plateau production by drilling 6 wells in the relatively undeveloped Western area of the field, installing a remote manifold station and connecting trunk lines and test lines to KPC. The project is currently in Concept Definition phase, and is planned to enter into Execution Phase in Q2 2014.
Unit 3 is an aging plant which does not meet the safety or asset integrity standards required of a modern international production facility. Unit 3 Future Development programme has been set up in order to develop a strategy for the replacement or refurbishment of the existing plant in order to meet current international standards of safety and asset integrity, whilst still maintaining production. A feasibility/concept selection study has commenced to select the most appropriate concept.
Unit 2 Gas Injection Upgrade is also part of the Plateau Extension Projects. Its aim is to upgrade the existing Unit 2 Gas Injection infrastructure to optimize the gas reinjection system of the Karachaganak Field by reducing downtime and increasing availability, reliability, flexibility, and gas reinjection capacity. The Project is currently at the Concept Selection Stage, with FEED planned after Q2 2014.
At present, due to increase in the field of Gas/Oil ratio (GOR) the existing facilities have reached the limit of gas handling. KEP has the objective to further develop the field up to the end of the FPSA period (2037) following a staged approach. The first development stage (KEP1) will create additional value for the Contracting Companies and the RoK by optimising stabilised liquid sales in the period beyond 2020. This will be achieved by the provision of additional, secure gas processing facilities and export/injection options to enable KPO to manage an increase in the produced GOR from the field.
The Contractor is also continuing the phased development of the Karachaganak field in the longer term as consistent with its obligations under its agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan, via the Karachaganak Expansion Project (KEP).
The concept assessment and selection activities for KEP included the development of a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) model to evaluate the risk exposure of personnel during the construction and operation of the proposed new facilities. The outputs from the model have been used to ensure that the layout, segregation and design of the new facilities will reduce risks during these activities to the lowest practicable level.
A segregated Gas Reinjection Compression Station (GRCS) will be separated from the main KEP facility taking operational risk into account. These design features will increase inherent safety in the design and reduce the exposure of personnel to process safety risks (including toxic gas risks) throughout the life of the new facilities. KEP is also seeking to utilise technology solutions that will minimise operator attendance, and so risk exposure, at process facilities.
Environmental impacts from the proposed new KEP facilities are being managed by the adoption of best available techniques (BAT) and air dispersion modelling of KEP emissions is being undertaken to assess any impact on the boundary of the Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ) around the field. Current work suggests that the SPZ will not need to be extended for KEP stage 1.