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Kazakhstan may order oil firms to cut output

LONDON. March 21. KAZINFORM. Kazakhstan may order oil companies including Chevron Corp to scale back production plans on environmental grounds, putting at risk a target of tripling the country’s output by 2015. Chevron, the No 2 oil company in the US, the UK’s BG Group and a group led by Italy’s Eni SpA, are targeting Kazakhstan, the second-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union. The Kazakh government, which had planned to lift annual output to at least 150mn tonnes (3mn bpd) by 2015, now wants to raise standards of environmental protection. ”It won’t be a tragedy if in 2015 we extract” less than the target, Ural Mukhamedzhanov, the chairman of the Kazakh lower chamber of parliament, said late on Monday in an interview in London. “I would even curb some projects for the sake of the ecological balance.” Kazakhstan has secured about $70bn in foreign investment since the demise of the Soviet Union, with the majority spent on oil projects. The nation, which owns the biggest oil reserves in the Caspian Sea region, is developing a so-called Green Oil programme, which will require producers to meet international standards of environmental protection. TengizChevroil, the local Chevron-led venture, last year had 98 unspecified incidents and had to flare 290mn cu m of gas above limits, Mukhamedzhanov said, Kazinform quotes Bloomberg


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