May 2, 2022 [Argus] – The Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s (CPC) Black Sea crude export terminal could return to full capacity by the end of the week, according to Kazakhstan’s energy minister Bolat Akchulakov.
The terminal, which is the main export route for Kazakhstan’s crude, has been working at half capacity since last month after a storm damaged two of its three single-point mooring (SPM) buoys. It requires two SPMs in operation to function at full capacity, with the third buoy serving as an emergency spare. The terminal ships out CPC Blend, which accounts for 80pc of Kazakh crude and condensate exports.
The terminal “should be fully operational” by the end of this week, Akchulakov said. Two SPMs will be in operation and “the third will be under repair”, he said. “But it was already a reserve.”
The return to full capacity could allow Kazakhstan to meet its original crude and condensate production forecast for this year, Akchulakov said. An energy ministry source said earlier this month that output could dip to 85.7mn t (1.78mn b/d) in 2022. But “if we make the most of our alternative routes, and the situation at the CPC is resolved as soon as possible, we may even get closer to the original plan, 87.5mn t/yr (1.82mn b/d),” Akchulakov said.
The CPC has said previously that progress on the SPM repair work is subject to weather conditions. The consortium said on 28 March that the work could take 3-4 weeks. Russia’s technical watchdog Rostekhnadzor has been conducting an unscheduled on-site inspection of CPC infrastructure to assess its condition.
Kazakhstan is the second-largest non-Opec producer in the Opec+ coalition. It produced 1.59mn b/d of crude last month, down by 50,000 b/d from February, according to Argus estimates.
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