Kazakh Chevron JV plans $15-20 bln growth by 2016

Kazakh Chevron JV plans $15-20 bln growth by 2016

U.S. energy major Chevron Corp's Kazakh oil venture plans to invest up to $20 billion by 2016 to raise production by nearly 40 percent, a senior company official said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Tengizchevroil, Kazakhstan's largest oil producer, is considering borrowing money to help finance its five-year plan to increase annual crude output to 36 million tonnes, Deputy General Director Anuarbek Dzhakiyev told reporters.

"The numbers are preliminary and could be between $15 billion and $20 billion. This is a project for our future growth," Dzhakiyev said on the sidelines of an oil conference.

"We are considering our options, which include borrowing," he said, without giving further details.

Tengizchevroil (TCO) produced 25.9 million tonnes of crude in 2010, or approximately 567,000 barrels per day. This was a 15 percent increase on the previous year.

Chevron is the largest single shareholder in the consortium, which runs the field in western Kazakhstan. ExxonMobil Corp (XOM.N), Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas and Russia's LUKOIL are also shareholders.

Kazakhstan has doubled its oil output over the past decade to become the second-biggest producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia. The Central Asian country produced 79.5 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate in 2010, up 4 percent on 2009.

Kazakhstan has ambitions to raise production to 100 million tonnes by 2015 and 130 million tonnes by 2020, the Oil and Gas Ministry has said.

As well as the TCO expansion, much of the growth is likely to be supplied by the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, the world's biggest oil find in more than 40 years, which is run by another international consortium and is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

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