Field/project development

Tengizchevroil Launches Wellhead Pressure Project at Tengiz Superfield

The $48.5-billion investment aims to keep the 30-year-old project in western Kazakhstan flowing for years to come.

A TCO facility in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, processes hydrocarbons produced at the nearby Tengiz oil field.
Source: TCO

Chevron Corp. has thrown the switch to begin its long-awaited Wellhead Pressure Management Project at the onshore Tengiz superfield in western Kazakhstan, operated by Chevron’s 50%-owned affiliate Tengizchevroil (TCO).

The project is designed to maintain the existing processing plants’ full capacity of 58,000 B/D by lowering the flowing pressure at the wellheads and then boosting the pressure to the processing facilities that separate the oil, condensate, and sour associated gas that flow from the field as a single stream.

TCO has successfully converted its first metering station at Tengiz to low pressure and activated the associated Pressure Boost Facility (PBF), which is integral to TCO’s project to expand production at Tengiz, Chevron announced on 25 April.

Clay Neff, president of Chevron International Exploration and Production called the milestone “a significant step” toward completing TCO’s Future Growth Project, which aims to modernize “the existing base business at Tengiz” to boost production at the aging field by an incremental 260,000 B/D.

The startup of additional PBF compressors and the conversion of the remaining metering stations in the oil-gathering system at Tengiz from high pressure to low pressure is scheduled to be completed in 2024, with the final phase of expansion on track to concluded in the first half of 2025, the company said.

Phase 2 envisions construction of a new oil-processing plant to handle low-pressure input and additional sour gas injection facilities to support reservoir pressure. New development wells will also be drilled.

In production now for 30 years, Tengiz crude is exported to international markets via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium network to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Referred to as a superfield for good reason, Tengiz boasts a 1-mile-thick oil column at a depth of 2.5–3.7 miles, ranking it as the world’s deepest producing supergiant oil field and the largest single-trap producing reservoir, according to Chevron, whose partners at Tengiz include ExxonMobil (25%), state oil company KazMunyaGas (20%), and Russia’s Lukarco (5%).

It is one of three foreign-led megaprojects in Kazakhstan, the others being Kashagan operated by a consortium of seven international producers in the north Caspian offshore and the onshore Karachaganak gas and condensate field operated by Shell and Eni.

Chevron last updated its overall investment costs for Phases 1 and 2 at $45.5 billion in October, according to Bloomberg, which has reported that costs could climb to $48.3 billion given the slower-than-expected pace of bringing systems onstream.