9 de septiembre de 2015 / 11:34 / en 2 años

UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan may cut 2016 oil output if prices fall further

* Kazakhstan No. 2 ex-Soviet oil producer after Russia

* Russia may increase output by 1 pct in 2015

* Mexico will not consider output cuts for now (Adds details, background, quotes, combines stories)

By Raushan Nurshayeva and Mariya Gordeyeva

ASTANA/MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan might cut crude oil output by almost 10 percent next year if prices drop to $30 per barrel, its energy official said, while top producers such as Russia are resisting calls to cut production to support prices.

Reduced volumes from Kazakhstan, which exports the bulk of its production to Europe and Asia, may help to balance global markets, where oil prices have hit multi-year lows this year.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Energy Minister Uzakbai Karabalin told reporters on Wednesday that if the oil price next year was $50 per barrel, Kazakhstan would produce between 79 and 80 million tonnes.

That would be little changed from this year’s forecast of 80.5 million tonnes, or roughly 1.6 million barrels a day.

But if the price drops to $40, Kazakhstan’s output would be 77 million tonnes and if oil fell to $30, it would be cut to 73 million tonnes, Karabalin said.

Global oil prices have more than halved since last year to trade at below $50 per barrel, pressed by oversupply from OPEC and Russia, as well as a weakening China economy.

Karabalin, a former head of state energy firm KazMunaiGas, did not elaborate on how Kazakhstan would cut its output. Two industry sources said some options were cutting spending on well servicing and shutting down old wells.

Russia has taken the opposite approach in response to slumping oil prices. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Interfax on Wednesday that Russia might increase oil output by 1 percent this year from 10.6 million barrels per day in 2014.

Mexico, which like Russia and Kazakhstan is not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), will also not consider cutting oil output at the moment, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told Reuters on Tuesday.


Oil production in Kazakhstan is falling anyway as the bulk its fields are depleting. Output dropped 1.2 percent last year to 80.8 million tonnes and is expected to fall again in 2015.

The Chevron-led venture, Tengizchevroil, is Kazakhstan’s largest oil producer. Last year, its output fell 1.5 percent to 26.7 million tonnes and is expected to remain unchanged in 2015.

Kazakhstan was hoping to boost oil output, a major source of budget revenues, through the Caspian offshore Kashagan oil field, which was finally launched in September 2013 after huge delays and cost overruns.

But Kashagan halted production a few weeks later when gas leaks were detected and it is not expected to be up and running before 2017, a date confirmed by Karabalin on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan officials had expected the country to be producing between 90 million tonnes and 100 million already in 2015, thanks to Kashagan.

On Wednesday, Karabalin said the lower forecasts were not due to Kashagan’s delays: “This is not about Kashagan, but because the oil price is different now and costs are different.” (Additional reporting by Katya Golubkova in Moscow and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City; writing by Katya Golubkova; editing by David Clarke)

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