Kazakhstan oil production on rise, Tengiz financing dispute resolved

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Feb. 4 -- Kazakhstan's 2003 oil production is expected to total 364 million bbl compared with 330 million bbl in 2002, Kazakhstan Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik said.

The 10% increase anticipated in 2003 vs. 2002 represents a slowdown from 18% growth in 2002 vs. 2001 and 14% growth in 2001 vs. 2000. Most of this year's production increase will come from Tengiz and Karachaganak fields, Shkolnik told Caspian News Agency.

Meanwhile, ChevronTexaco Corp. confirmed that the Tengizchevroil (TCO) partners resolved a dispute about funding arrangements, enabling TCO to move forward with expansion plans for second generation production and sour gas injection projects (OGJ Online, Nov. 15, 2002).

Parker Drilling Co., Houston, and its Kazakhstan joint venture AralParker also received notification from TCO to resume normal drilling operations in Tengiz field. AralParker received notice of the suspension in mid-November and was told to suspend operations only upon completion of the wells that were already being drilled at that time. The financial impact of the suspension will be minimal, Parker Drilling said.

Shkolnik said the bulk of the oil production will be exported, and 60 million bbl of oil will be refined in Kazakhstan, Caspian News Agency reported.

Kazakhstan is working to increase its oil production to 392 million bbl in 2004 and to 428 million bbl in 2005. Kashagan field is expected to come on stream in 2005.

ChevronTexaco holds 50% interest in Tengizchevroil. Other stakeholders are Kazakhoil, 20%, ExxonMobil Corp., 25%, and LukArco BV, 5%.

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