The $45 billion expansion of Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field, the primary source for CPC crude blend, is expected to be completed by mid-2024 following pandemic-related delays, Chevron said in a July 30 update.
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The expansion project, comprising two major components, is intended to lift Tengiz production capacity to 850,000 b/d of crude, or 1 million b/d of oil equivalent, including gas and gas liquids, and thus significantly boost CPC volumes.
Chevron had already flagged the likelihood of delay to the 'Future Growth Project' (FGP) and 'Wellhead Pressure Management Project' (WPMP), which have involved deploying tens of thousands of workers to the remote site on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, and a major logistical exercise to ship modules through the Russian canal system.
The Tengizchevroil (TCO) consortium, in which Chevron holds a 50% stake alongside smaller stakes for ExxonMobil, Lukoil, and state-owned KazMunaiGaz, has contended with a significant COVID-19 outbreak among workers.
"At FGP-WPMP overall progress is at 84%, with field construction 69% complete. We've recently reviewed our cost and schedule targets. At this point, the net schedule extension from the pandemic is expected to be roughly a quarter for WPMP and two quarters for FGP," Jay Johnson, executive upstream vice president at Chevron, was set to say at a Q2 investor call on July 30, the script of which was released in advance.
An accompanying slide show showed the WPMP component delayed from late 2022 to mid-2023 and the FGP component delayed from mid-2023 to between late 2023 and mid-2024.
"Our cost target remains $45.2 billion as cost reduction efforts and favorable exchange rates offset an estimated $1.9 billion of incremental costs associated with COVID," Johnson was to say. "The COVID costs include mitigation efforts, de-mobilization and remobilization costs, as well as the expected schedule extension."
"Although the total project cost target is unchanged, we have increased the project contingency to $1.9 billion, to recognize the schedule uncertainty associated with the virus and its variants. The project is currently at peak workforce and our primary focus is to mitigate the impact of the virus with vaccinations, testing, and isolation protocols to enable workforce productivity."
Tengiz production has been constrained of late by Kazakhstan's commitments under the OPEC+ output pact; however, the field has a nameplate capacity of 600,000 b/d at present and has at times produced well above this level.
Tengiz is generally the largest contributor of the light CPC crude blend loaded at Novorossiisk on Russia's Black Sea coast, with the Kashagan field now generally the second-largest contributor.