Oil Industry of the Atyrau Region
Gaukhar Bayandyeva, analyst at the Information and Analytical Support Department of Analytical Center of Oil and Gas JSC
At the year-end 2019 Kazakhstan produced a record amount of oil and gas condensate – 90.5 mln tons, and almost half of this volume was produced in the Atyrau region.
This region is the country's leading producer of liquid hydrocarbons. According to the Analytical Center of Oil and Gas JSC (hereinafter IACOG), 49.35 mln tons of oil and gas condensate were produced there in 2019, which accounted for 54.5% of the total oil production in the country. In total, 27 companies produce oil in the region. The major fields of the region that are in operation – Tengiz, Korolevskoe, and Kashagan – are among the largest in the country by production to date.
The Tengiz field is one of the largest oil fields in the world, the upper oil reservoir of which lies at a depth of about 4,000 m. The field was discovered in 1979 – long before Kazakhstan became an independent country.
The Korolevskoe field is located 150 km southeast of Atyrau and 20 km northeast of the oil giant Tengiz field. Prospecting and exploration drilling at the field started in 1982, which was the year of the field's discovery.
Today, oil and gas production in Tengiz and Korolevskoe is conducted by Tengizchevroil LLP (hereinafter TCO), which was established in 1993. According to TCO, the total proved reserves of the Tengiz reservoir are 3.2 bln tons (25.5 bln barrels) and 200 mln tons (1.6 bln barrels) in the Korolevskoe field. The recoverable oil reserves of the Tengiz and Korolevskoye fields range from 890 mln to 1.37 bln tons (7.1-10.9 bln barrels).
Kashagan is one of the largest fields in the world discovered over the past 40 years. The recoverable reserves of the field are estimated at 1-2 bln tons, but the process of oil production in this field is associated with a number of difficulties. The productive layers of the Kashagan field lie at a depth of 4,200 meters below the surface of the seabed and are under high pressure. Commercial oil production in this field began in 2016. The operator of the field is North Caspian Operating Company B.V. (hereinafter NCOC).
The largest companies in the region are TCO, NCOC, and Embamunaigas JSC (hereinafter EMG). In 2019, the production of oil and gas condensate by these companies amounted to 47.48 mln tons, or 52.5% of the total production in the country, and 96.2% of production in the Atyrau region.
TCO produced a record 29.79 mln tons in 2019, which is 4.2% more than in 2018. Over the past year, NCOC produced 14.13 mln tons at Kashagan, which is also 6.8% higher than in 2018.
EMG produces at 41 fields, divided into 4 oil and gas production departments: NGDU Zhaiykmunaigas, NGDU Zhylyoimunaigas, NGDU Dossormunaigas, and NGDU Kaynarmunaigas. In 2019, EMG increased production by 0.2% to 2.9 mln tons.