I confess, I have trouble both spelling and placing all of those countries ending in 'stan. Obviously NASA is most interested in the Soyuz landing zone, but our story today concerns the Caspian Sea, just west of Atyrau in the center left.
Kazakhstan consortium achieves first oil production from Kashagan field explains the largest oil field discovered in the last 35 years is in production. The industrial consortium including Shell, Enit, Total, and ExonMobil, has invested over $50B in the project.
There have been several problems to overcome. The oil field is almost 15,000 feeet below the sea bed. The reservoir has lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and has pressures exceeding 10,000 pounds per square inch. Caspian is almost synomous with cold, with the temperatures more extreme than conventional fixed or floating platforms.
The oil field has an estimated 13 billion barrels of oil. Even though it is called the Caspian Sea, it is a landlocked body of water (or ice) and requires extensive pipelines to ports on the Black Sea. For the first few years, the output of the Kashagan field will be about 200,000 barrels a day, produced by 21 wells.