Kazakhstan raises oil output forecast on Chevron JV

Aug 27. Reuters. ASTANA

By Raushan Nurshayeva

* Output seen at 82-83 mln T, Tengiz at 25 mln T
* Output has doubled over past decade, more growth ahead
* KazMunaiGas sees own production at 24 mln T by 2014

Kazakhstan raises oil output forecast on Chevron JVKazakhstan may exceed its oil output target this year on the back of higher oil production from a Chevron-led <CVX.N> venture, the head of Kazakh state firm said on Friday.

“I think oil production in Kazakhstan may exceed 80 million tonnes this year and reach 82-83 million, mainly thanks to TengizChevroil,” said Kairgeldy Kabyldin, chief of KazMunaiGas [KMG.UL].

“Oil production at Tengiz will be 25 million tonnes,” he added. The venture had previously planned to produce 23.5 million tonnes this year.

Apart from Chevron and KazMunaiGas, Tengiz’s shareholders are Exxon Mobil <XOM.N> and Russia’s LUKOIL <LKOH.MM>.

Kazakhstan has doubled its oil output over the past decade to become the second-biggest producer in the region after Russia, as output grew at production sharing agreements with foreign majors, such as Tengiz or Karachaganak.

The country wants to further increase production, doubling current levels when another foreign group led by Italy’s ENI <ENI.MI> launches its huge Kashagan oil field on the Caspian Sea.

Kashagan has been hit by repeated delays because of cost overruns and as Kazakhstan became increasingly assertive with foreign investors and sought to win bigger stakes in foreign ventures.

Kabyldin said KazMunaiGas would increase oil output to 24 million tonnes by 2014 from the current 20 million.

“The company’s strategic goal, set by the board, is to join the list of 30 leading global oil companies… The level of reserves will reach 790 million tonnes by 2014,” he said.