The death of mega oil projects

When discovered in 2000 the Kashagan oilfield, offshore Kazakhstan, was hailed as the biggest oil find since the discovery of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay in the 1960’s. The world’s largest oil firms – ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Eni, BP, Statoil and Inpex among them – all rushed to take stakes in the project, promising Kashagan would start gushing oil in 2005 and be a lasting totem to the skill and engineering prowess of the industry. Kashagan started pumping oil last Wednesday, an epitome of cost overruns, complexity and waste. A decade late and ultimately US$50bn to develop, it is already gaining infamy....

When discovered in 2000 the Kashagan oilfield, offshore Kazakhstan, was hailed as the biggest oil find since the discovery of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay in the 1960’s. The world’s largest oil firms – ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Eni, BP, Statoil and Inpex among them – all rushed to take stakes in the project, promising Kashagan would start gushing oil in 2005 and be a lasting totem to the skill and engineering prowess of the industry.

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