With commercial production set to start at the giant Kashagan oilfield in the near future, the Kazakhstani government is forecasting a steady increase in oil production over the next five years.
At a government meeting on August 28, Economy and Budget Planning Minister Yerbolat Dossayev said that Kazakhstan plans to raise oil production to 83m tonnes in 2014, rising to 110m tonnes in 2018.
However, with lower projected oil prices, the value of Kazakhstan's exports is expected to fall by 4.2% in 2014, Dossayev told government officials.
It is not yet clear whether the international consortium developing the Kashagan field will manage to meet Astana's deadline of launching commercial production by the end of 2013. Despite hopes that production will start in October, there is still speculation that the launch may take place in the first half of 2014.
However, according to Dossayev, the launch of production at the offshore Caspian field will ensure Kazakhstan's GDP growth in the medium term. "The economical growth will be achieved by increasing the volume of investment in industrial, innovation and infrastructure projects and by developing the Kashagan oil field", Dossayev said.
During the next five years, the economy is expected to grow at between 6.1% and 7.0%, according to Kazakhstani government forecasts, with ongoing industrial and infrastructure projects also expected to contribute to faster GDP growth.
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