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Lockdown Measures Tightened at Kazakhstan's Karachaganak Gas Field

May 25, 2020

Image Credit: KPO

Kazakhstan has tightened lockdown measures at its biggest gas condensate field Karachaganak after confirming the first case of novel coronavirus among its staff, authorities said on Monday.

The chief sanitary doctor in Western Kazakhstan province where Karachaganak is located ordered an effective 7 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew at camps where Karachaganak workers reside and barred vehicles from entering and leaving the field.

Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO), which runs the giant field, confirmed its first COVID-19 case on May 22. The sanitary doctor's order also requires all newly arriving workers at the field to pass COVID-19 tests.

The Central Asian nation's biggest oilfield, Tengiz, has been battling a local coronavirus outbreak for weeks. The field's operator says its output has been unaffected, but it has reduced work on a $45 billion expansion project.

Karachaganak, operated by Shell and Eni, produced 4.2 million tonnes of gas condensate - a product marketed together with oil - in the first four months of this year, accounting for about 13% of Kazakhstan's total oil and condensate output. 

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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