major expansion at tengiz field in Kazakhstan completed

Tengizchevroil workers at the Sour Gas Injection facilities.

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September 2008

It was one of the largest oil fields in the world. Now it can produce nearly twice as much oil.

The Tengiz Field in Kazakhstan, operated by Chevron affiliate Tengizchevroil, has completed an expansion that took 5 years and cost $7.2 billion. The project boosted production capacity from about 310,000 barrels per day to 540,000, "Bringing much needed new oil to market," says George Kirkland, executive vice president, Chevron Global Upstream and Gas.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly inaugurated the expansion. "I want to give special thanks to President Nazarbayev for his trust in Chevron and Tengizchevroil," said O'Reilly. "Chevron is proud to be the first Western oil company to invest in Kazakhstan and we're prouder still to think of what we've built together."

The Tengiz Field is among the top 10 producing fields in the world. It covers 218 square miles (565 sq km) — about the size of Chicago, Illinois.

In the reservoir, Tengiz oil is mixed with "sour gas," which is hydrocarbon gas with high concentrations of toxic hydrogen sulfide. Processing facilities separate the oil and sour gas, and stabilize and sweeten the oil. The sour gas is processed into sales gas, natural gas liquids, and elemental sulfur, which is sold for fertilizer and other products.

The expansion project — called the Sour Gas Injection / Second Generation Plant — includes the largest crude oil and sour gas processing units in the world. In addition, the Sour Gas Injection portion of the project reinjects one-third of the sour gas into the reservoir at a pressure of about 9,000 pounds per square inch, the highest pressure of any sour-gas-injection operation in the world.

"The scale of this project is incredible," says Guy Hollingsworth, president of Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration and Production.

Tengizchevroil's Kazakh and multinational workforce completed the expansion with zero incidents — "a remarkable safety record that demonstrates our commitment to an incident and injury free culture," says Jay Johnson, managing director of Chevron's Eurasia Business Unit. The achievement is especially impressive considering the expansion's more than 160 million manhours and five years of construction.

Chevron's partnership in Tengizchevroil dates to 1993, when the joint venture was formed. Today, Chevron is Kazakhstan's largest foreign investor, and a 50 percent partner in the joint venture.

Updated: September 2008

Updated: September 2008