Kashgan: offshore oil and gas in Kazakhstan

The field is considered one of the largest deposits discovered in the last forty years.

Offshore oil and gas

Eni was one of the first international energy companies to come to Kazakhstan, in the early 1990s, and in 2000 we discovered the offshore oil and gas field 80km south-east of Atyrau, in the north Caspian Sea.

We hold a 16.81 per cent interest in the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement (NCSPSA), which regulates the exploration, development and production rights over a 4,600km2 area of the giant Kashagan field until the end of 2041. We began oil production here in September 2013. Agip KCO, a local subsidiary, is responsible for developing and starting production at the field. We process the gas produced and send it to the state company KazTransGas. Any that remains is used to produce fuel gas, and we reinject gas that is not processed (about 30 per cent) back into the field. We stabilise the liquids at Bolashak then market them in the West through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (in which Eni has a two per cent interest) and the Atyrau-Samara pipeline. We also carry out studies into further phases of development, including expanding capacity for natural gas injection, converting wells from producers into injectors and upgrading existing facilities.

In 2020 the development activities of the Kashagan field (Eni’s interest 16.81%) concerned the phased expansion program of production capacity. The first development phase envisages increasing the production capacity up to 450 kbbl/d by upgrading the existing associated gas compression handling. The ongoing activities, sanctioned in 2020, mainly concerned:

  • increasing gas reinjection capacity by means of upgrading the existing facilities
  • delivering a part of gas volumes to a new onshore treatment unit operated by a third party, currently under construction.

Safety first

Workplace safety is a fundamental principle that we share with employees, contract workers and local communities. For that reason, we implement all necessary measures to avoid accidents, including organisational models to assess and manage risk, training programmes, skills development and the promotion of a culture of safety.

Impact on the environment and communities

In line with our agreements with regional authorities, our programme of professional training for local workers in oil and gas continues, as does our commitment to improve local infrastructure for social benefit. For example, between 1998 and 2017, we carried out 187 social and infrastructure projects in Kashagan at a total cost of $570 million. We split the funds equally between the regions of Atyrau and Mangystau to build schools, nurseries, hospitals and sports centres, and provide services such as roads, electricity lines, water systems and other infrastructure for the benefit of the community.


We have never undertaken exploration or development work for hydrocarbons within the boundaries of natural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In May 2019, we formally committed never to do so and officially instated a biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) policy – this had previously been followed in our operations and constitutes part of our transformation path. We are committed to long-term investment – looking beyond short-term profit priorities to how we can help create a more sustainable planet – as recognised in our new company mission, in turn inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.