Kazakhstan: US sanctions will not affect oil projects
New US sanctions against Russia will not affect multi-billion dollar oil projects in Kazakhstan backed by Chevron, ExxonMobil and other western energy majors, the country’s economy minister has said. Fresh sanctions against Moscow signed into law by President Donald Trump this week directly target Russian energy export pipelines, raising fears that oil from Kazakhstan, which is exported along the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline that runs through Russia to the Black Sea, could be affected. “The pipeline, which links our oil to the seas, in particular, to Novorossiysk, is not covered by the sanctions. American companies, such as Chevron, who are also shareholders of the CPC, have themselves obtained from their parliament that such transit pipelines be excluded from sanctions,” minister of national economy Timur Suleimenov told reporters. “Therefore, in this case, the delivery of our oil to foreign markets will not be affected.” Chevron last year led a $37bn investment in Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field, in which it holds a 50 per cent stake. Exxon, Kazakhstan’s state-run oil company and Russia’s Lukoil also hold stakes in the project. Italy’s Eni, France’s Total, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell all hold stakes in Kashagan, another Kazakh oil field. Both Tengiz and Kashagan export crude along the CPC. The new sanctions, which Mr Trump reluctantly signed, were in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US election. The decision to expand sanctions to cover companies financing or supporting Russian energy export pipelines was taken to primarily target Gazprom’s under-construction Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which is being partially funded by EU energy companies Shell, Engie, Wintershall, Uniper and OMV.
Source: The Financial Times Limited 2017