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This Oil Nation Sees Production Drop As COVID-19 Cases Spike

Kazakhstan’s crude oil production has fallen below 1.7 million bpd of crude and condensates, oil analytics firm OilX told Oilprice.com, noting that the giant Tengiz field has seen a jump in Covid-19 cases among workers, at 935.

The Tengiz field is one of the biggest in the country and normally produces 600,000 bpd of crude.

Kazakhstan is a member of the OPEC+ group and earlier this year agreed to cut some 400,000 bpd in oil production as part of international efforts to stymie the drop in oil prices resulting from the combination of excessive production at a time of falling demand.

Most of the Central Asian country’s cuts were to come from the Tengiz field as well as from the offshore Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea.

The situation was unique in the oil world because the operators of both Tengiz and Kashagan are supermajors: Chevron for Tengiz, and Shell, Total and Exxon as partners in Kashagan.

Kazakhstan was not alone in this unprecedented position of negotiating production cuts with private field operators. Neighbour Azerbaijan with whom the country shares the Caspian Sea’s oil riches, asked the BP-led consortium that operates the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore field system to start reducing its output from May.

Last year, the ACG group produced some 542,000 bpd. Now, BP and its partners would need to reduce this by between 75,000 bpd and 80,000 bpd to fill the country’s reduction quota, which stands at 164,000 bpd.

The total amount of daily oil output OPEC+ agreed to take off the market was 9.7 million, but OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said it would cut an additional 1 million bpd to stimulate oil prices.

The effort has worked, supported by production cuts in Norway and the United States and Canada, which have together cut somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 million bpd in oil production since the start of the crisis.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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