ASTANA – The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) increased last year by 10.8 million tons the amount of crude it transported from Kazakhstan’s Caspian oil fields to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk for export, the CEO of the private consortium, Nikolai Gorban, said on Wednesday.
Thanks to the completion in October of a $5.4 billion expansion project to the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) pipeline, “55.1 million tons of crude oil were transported for export in 2017. This is 10.8 million tons more than in 2016,” Gorban said during a press conference in Astana.
The CPC expansion project replaced an 88-kilometer (55-mile) section of pipeline with larger diameter pipes and rebuilt part of the Tengiz and Atyrau stations, among several other improvements and additions.
The upgrade increases the pipeline’s transport capacity from 37 million tons to an expected 67 million tons in 2018, of which 60 million tons are to come from Kazakhstan, Gorban said.
Last year, some 28.8 million tons were transported from the Tengiz fields, while 10.6 million came from Karachaganak and 7.4 million from Kashagan.
Gorban said the CPC plans to increase to 13 million tons the amount of crude shipped from the Kashagan offshore oil field.
Oil reserves at Kashagan, the world’s biggest oil find in decades, are estimated at 38 billion barrels, with some 10 billion barrels listed as recoverable reserves.
The Russian and Kazakh governments, as well as major producers Chevron, ExxonMobil, LukArco and Rosneft-Shell are the main shareholders of the consortium.