Parker receives notice of Kazakhstan drilling suspension

Parker Drilling Co. Friday announced Tengizchevroil (TCO) has instructed it to suspend drilling operations upon completion of wells being drilled in Kazakhstan's Tengiz field.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 15 -- Parker Drilling Co. Friday announced Tengizchevroil (TCO) has instructed it to suspend drilling operations upon completion of wells being drilled in Kazakhstan's Tengiz field.

On Thursday, ChevronTexaco Corp. issued a news release saying TCO had suspended the planned expansion of the second-generation production and sour gas injection projects because TCO partners have not agreed on a funding plan.

"The TCO partners failed to sanction the projects moving to the next stage in our capital management process, and therefore we had no option but to suspend all activity at this time," said Peter Robertson, vice-chairman, ChevronTexaco.

But he said ChevronTexaco continues working with its partners toward a mutually agreeable solution.

Robert L. Parker, president and CEO of Parker Drilling, said, "We are hopeful that the Tengizchevroil joint venture partners will agree on a funding plan in the near future, in which case disruptions of our operations will be minimal."

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

Tengiz field has been averaging 260,000 b/d of oil in recent months and has the potential to yield 700,000 b/d by 2010. Its production is expected to nearly double by 2006 (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2002). The sour gas injection plant would have reduced the sulfur content of oil shipped from Tengiz.

More in Drilling & Production