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Output At Huge Kazakh Oilfield Dips On Unscheduled Maintenance

The giant Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan saw its oil production drop by 11% in early March compared to February due to unscheduled maintenance at the massive field that typically pumps more than 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.    

U.S. supermajor Chevron holds a 50% interest in Tengizchevroil (TCO), the operator of the Tengiz oilfield, the world’s deepest producing supergiant oil field and the largest single-trap producing reservoir in existence.

The Tengizchevroil joint venture saw its oil production fall to 563,000 bpd between March 1 and 6, compared to an average output of 630,000 bpd for February. In the first six days of March, production of liquefied petroleum gas slumped by 40%, according to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters.

The dip in production at the supergiant oilfield was due to unscheduled maintenance that could extend for up to two weeks, Reuters’ sources said.

Tengizchevroil told Reuters in a statement that one production train at the oilfield – out of six trains – was taken offline. The company, however, declined to comment on the daily production numbers.

“One of six production trains at Tengiz has been safely and temporarily taken offline for maintenance works,” Tengizchevroil told Reuters. 

Production at the train will restart when maintenance works are completed, the joint venture added.  

Kazakhstan’s oil production and exports have seen their fair share of setbacks and disasters in recent months.

In July last year, an explosion at the Tengiz oilfield occurred during a test in a pipe, killing two workers, but the field continued production.

Most recently, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) suspended for a few days last month the intake of crude oil into the CPC system from the Tengiz field due to excess stock at the terminal at Novorossiysk. The terminal had suspended oil lifting due to adverse weather conditions.

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The CPC runs from the Caspian coast in northwest Kazakhstan to the Novorossiysk port on Russia’s Black Sea coast and carries 80% of Kazakh crude exports.    

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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