After the coronavirus pandemic affected operations at Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield in the past year, the operator of the giant project may have another problem on its hands: nesting birds.


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A family of white wagtails has taken up residence in a number of pick-up trucks used by Kazakh subcontractor Caspian Offshore Construction Realty at the field, which is operated by Chevron-led Tengizchevroil.

A video sent by an employee to a local social networking group in the Atyrau region last week shows several parked vehicles sporting warnings to personnel to keep their distance as they are now designated as a “bird nesting area”.

The vehicles are understood to be located in a new camp near Tengiz built to host subcontractors working on a large expansion project at the field.

However, this camp has seen little activity for months because of Covid-19 evacuations and restrictions.

Tengizchevroil said an ornithologist, employed by the company under its plan to maintain biodiversity, has found three nests after inspecting the vehicles.

It has ordered the subcontractor to keep the vehicles immobilised and guarded for at least two weeks to allow any chicks to grow big enough to fly from their steel nests.

The ornithologist will remain on standby to monitor their progress, the operator promised.