July 1, 2020 / 8:17 AM / 6 days ago

Kazakhstan's Tengizchevroil pauses non-essential projects over COVID-19

ALMATY, July 1 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s biggest oil producer, Chevron-led Tengizchevroil (TCO), has temporarily paused some non-essential work activities as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said on Wednesday.

“Currently, TCO’s production operations remain uninterrupted,” it said in a statement.

“The FGP-WPMP (expansion) project is 77% complete and we are focused on taking actions to safely execute the project’s key critical-path activities.”

Kazakh news website Lada.kz published a TCO document on Wednesday ordering some workers to be furloughed until the end of this year.

Tengizchevroil, in which Exxon Mobil, Russia’s Lukoil and Kazakh state firm KazMunayGaz also have stakes, accounts for almost a third of the Central Asian nation’s total oil output.

The giant Tengiz oilfield operated by TCO has become a COVID-19 hotspot with 1,222 cases, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said this week.

Kazakhstan, which ended a nationwide lockdown in May, plans new tough restrictions after the number of COVID-19 cases grew more than sevenfold to more than 41,000 over six weeks. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Louise Heavens)

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