Chevron-led Kazakh venture curbs oil output on export issues

Nariman Gizitdinov March 25, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp.’s oil production venture in Kazakhstan -- which operates the country’s largest field -- is curbing output due to issues at a supply link on the Black Sea.

“Due to unscheduled repair works at the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s marine terminal, Tengizchevroil is adjusting its production accordingly,” the company, also known as TCO, said in a statement. 

TCO declined to comment on the current production level at the Tengiz field, which is responsible for about a third of Kazakhstan’s oil output. 

About 80% of Kazakhstan’s oil exports are shipped through the CPC pipeline, which terminates on Russia’s Black Sea coast. Earlier this week, the link’s operator said two out of three moorings had been damaged due to bad weather, which halted loadings. 

A tanker moored at one of those buoys late Thursday local time, indicating that some flows are resuming. 

The planned resumption of flows from one of the moorings “saves us from significant losses in production,” Kazakhstan Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov told reporters on Friday. 

The CPC sea terminal used two moorings and kept one as a reserve for emergencies, he said. “If they resume another single point mooring, it will mean that CPC has started to work in the usual mode.”

Still, the consortium stopped accepting oil for pipeline shipments earlier Friday in the absence of storage capacity, according to a person familiar with the situation. 

TCO, which is 50% owned by Chevron, said it will export crude in line with CPC’s allocation. Exxon Mobil Corp. also holds a 25% stake in the venture.

Reduced oil shipments from Kazakhstan would deprive European refineries of crude at a time when many of them are already refusing to take supplies from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

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