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Kazakhstan protests reach highest-producing oil field Tengiz, output unaffected: operator


No supply disruption reported from main export fields

Contract workers gather in support of protests

Mangistau region output mainly directed to domestic needs

  • Author
  • Nick Coleman
  • Editor
  • James Leech
  • Commodity
  • Oil

Contract workers at Kazakhstan's highest-producing oil field, Tengiz, have joined in protests that have taken place around the country, but without impacting production from the field, the largest source of CPC blend crude, the Chevron-led operating consortium said Jan. 5.

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In a statement, Tengizchevroil (TCO) said it "has been notified that a number of contractor employees have gathered at the Tengiz field in support of meetings taking place in Mangistau oblast. TCO and Business Partner Industrial Relations teams are working together to resolve this situation as soon as possible."

"This incident has not impacted TCO production operations," it added.

Protests have taken place in major cities around the Central Asian country in recent days, starting in the oil-rich Mangistau region in the west and sparked by anger at fuel price rises, according to media reports.

The unrest has led to the government's resignation and the introduction of a state of emergency in some regions.

Kazakhstan produces around 1.6 million b/d of crude, the majority of which is loaded as CPC blend from the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk for shipment around the world.

However, there have been no reports of output being disrupted at the main export fields: Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak. The CPC export blend is light and relatively sweet, while Kazakhstan's mostly mature onshore fields in Mangistau tend to produce heavier crude directed toward domestic consumption.

In November, the latest month for which data is available, loadings of CPC crude totaled 1.38 million b/d, including a small portion from Russia's Caspian Sea waters.

Chevron and its partners are engaged in a $45 billion expansion project at Tengiz, expected to raise capacity to 850,000 b/d, with completion expected between the end of 2023 and mid-2024.