Karachaganak Gas and the Future of Kazakhstan's Pipeline System
SUMMARY: The supergiant Karachaganak energy field, onshore in northwestern Kazakhstan, sends gas for processing over the Russian border to a processing plant in Orenburg operated by Gazprom. Production is slated to increase. The joint operators of the Karachaganak gas venture, BG and ENI, together with the Government of Kazakhstan, are considering building a plant on-site in Karachaganak to process the new volumes. Gazprom argues against this and is trying to offer incentives to send the gas instead to an expanded Orenburg plant. The eventual decision, coming soon, will have significant implications for how Kazakhstan's national pipeline system develops in the future.