There was an explosion at the largest Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan. What does Russia have to do with it?

Kostia Andreikovets

In Kazakhstan, in the Zhylioi district, a pipe explosion occurred in the morning at the Tengiz field, the largest oil field in the country, the reserves of which are estimated at 3.2 billion tons.

As Interfax reports, that the explosion occurred around 9 a.m. local time. Two workers died, three others were injured. The police began to investigate violations of labor protection rules.

The Tengiz field is being developed by the Tengizchevroil company, which is 50% owned by the American Chevron and another 25% by ExxonMobil. Currently, oil production is being expanded at the field. Kazakhstan ranks 11th in the world in terms of oil production (1.7 million barrels per day). 89% of this volume is exported, and most of it is through the pipeline leading to Novorossiysk (Russian Federation).

After a series of statements by the President of Kazakhstan, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, trouble began in the countryʼs oil industry. The day before, Tokayev said that he plans to increase the supply of oil to Europe, in particular through Tengiz.

After that, the Primorye District Court of Novorossiysk closed an important terminal for the export of oil from Kazakhstan to Europe for 30 days, allegedly due to the dangerous condition of the production facilities. Due to this decision, Kazakhstan temporarily lost the only way to export oil by sea.

  • On June 17, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where Putin was present, Tokayev stated that his country will not recognize the "DPR" and "LPR". The next day, the Russian media reported that the shipment of Kazakh oil through the port to Novorossiysk may periodically stop due to "mines found in the water area" dating back to the Second World War.