Producers at the giant Kashagan oil field say they plan a test extraction launch on the Caspian shelf before the New Year. Planned oil production will only start in 2017, Kazakh Minister of Economy, Yerbolat Dosayev stated on December 28, Kulpash Konyrova writes for New Europe.

“The Kashagan projects are being implemented by the consortium (NCOC – North Caspian Operating Company). The work is being done ahead of schedule. We hope the test runs will be made at the end of December of this year, and we can obtain the first oil. We are very hopeful for this. Planned oil production will begin at the field in 2017, however,” Dosayev told the lower house of the Kazakh parliament, the Majilis.

Early last year, the United States Energy Information Administration said it expected the field to go back online at some point in 2015, albeit below its initial production target of 370,000 barrels per day, “because technical challenges and high development costs might limit its expansion.”

Read more at New Europe.