Oil & Gas

11 Jan 2022

Output at Kazakh Tengiz Oil Field Ramping Back up

11 Jan 2022  by   

The Chevron-led Tengizchevroil (TCO) consortium is gradually restoring production at Kazakhstan's giant Tengiz oil field after civil unrest forced the firm to reduce output by an unspecified amount last week.

"TCO is safely and gradually increasing production to reach normal rates," Chevron said.

The firm said on 6 January that a number of contractor employees had gathered at Tengiz in support of protests taking place across Kazakhstan and that there had been a "temporary adjustment to output due to logistics".

Chevron has not disclosed the extent of the output disruption. Tengiz crude production averaged around 565,000 b/d in January-November last year. As well as the drop in Tengiz output, there was some disruption to rail transportation of oil products and trading sources reported that the Zhanazhol gas processing plant had stopped operations on 4 January.

A wave of protests swept Kazakhstan last week, resulting in significant loss of life and widespread looting. The unrest started after a spike in LPG prices, but the scale of the disorder suggests public anger with the government goes beyond the price of fuel.

Kazakhstan's president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev blamed the protests on "terrorists" and gave orders to the police and army to open fire without warning if necessary. Russian troops are in Kazakhstan as part of a "peacekeeping" force dispatched by the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), an alliance of six former Soviet states, to help stabilise the country. In a national address on 7 January, Tokayev said the CSTO soldiers would be on the ground "for a short period of time to perform supporting functions".

Speaking at a CSTO meeting today, Tokayev thanked the organisation and Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular. He said that order has been re-established but that the "anti-terrorist operation" continues.

A new government will be appointed tomorrow.

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