Kazakhstan will maintain oil production at the current level of 1.8 million barrels per day (mbd) until the end of 2018, the country’s energy minister said Tuesday, according to local media reports.
Kanat Bozumbayev's announcement follows the recent decision by OPEC and non-OPEC countries to add around 1 mbd to global oil supply.
Kazakh national news agency Kazinform quoted Bozumbayev as saying that the country was not planning to reduce the output, and the average daily production rate would remain the same until the year's end.
"Our initial commitment within OPEC was 20 thousand barrels of the level of November 2016, and this meant to be 1.68 mbd.
"However, when we signed it, we made reservations that if this affects the interests of Kazakhstan's long-term investors, then it is factored out, I mean Kashagan," the minister said, referring to the offshore oil field in the northern Caspian Sea.
OPEC had agreed in November 2016 to reduce 1.2 million bpd from its output at that time. In December 2016, Russia and non-OPEC producers said they would reduce their production by 600,000 bpd. The agreement was later extended until the end of this year.
Bozumbayev said that the production at the country's largest oil field, Kashagan, started in November 2016, and it was "impossible" to immediately impose output restrictions on such a giant field.
"In this regard, there are no heavy claims against Kazakhstan," he added.
-Recent OPEC decision to balance market
Commenting on the recent OPEC+ decision to increase global oil supply by 1 mbd, and adhere to the overall conformity level of 100 percent as of July 1, Bozumbayev said that this would provide the needed market balance by year's end.
Kazakh First Deputy Energy Minister Makhambet Dosmukhambetov said on June 13 that the country’s oil output had increased by 6.4 percent in the first five months of 2018 from the same period last year.
Previously, on Jan. 22, Bozumbayev had said that the volume of oil production was expected to be around 87 million tons in 2018.
Kazakhstan's proven oil reserves stood at 30 billion barrels at the end of 2017, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy.
By Firdevs Yuksel