Kazakhstan's KazMunaigaz swung back into the black in the third quarter, but the year-to-date results remain down amid widespread industry pain.


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The state-controlled oil and gas player's net income for the three months to the end of September was 116 billion tenge ($280 million) as against a net loss of 49 billion tenge three months earlier.

Gross revenues in the third quarter improved sequentially by 23% to more than 1 trillion tenge, it added.

For the first nine months of this year, net income plummeted almost six-fold to 136 billion tenge against the same period last year, despite gross revenues declining by just 35%, to 3.3 trillion tenge.

Despite Kazakh authorities not strictly enforcing the country’s commitment to the Opec+ alliance to reduce output, KazMunaigaz reported a 7% decline in its own production and its shares in output at three giant domestic developments — Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak — to 449,00 barrels per day between January and September.

KazMunaigaz’s share in the Chevron-led Tengizchevroil joint venture has been affected the most, with an 8% fall to 117,000 bpd.

Domestic gas production in the period remained almost unchanged at 6.2 billion cubic metres.

However, the transit of Turkmen gas across the country to China by KazMunaigaz subsidiary KazTransgaz fell by almost half to 14.5 Bcm, triggering a 15% drop in overall gas transportation volumes to about 63 Bcm.

Transportation of oil by another subsidiary, KazTransoil, and by pipeline operators in which KazMunaigaz holds minority interests declined by 6% to 55.2 million tonnes (1.5 million bpd).

Between January and September, KazMunaigaz’s capital investment fell by 22% to $300 million in its upstream development projects, however, they rose by 62% to $238 million in the gas transportation sector as upgrades to gas pipelines were completed.

Despite the damage to both top and bottom lines, KazMunaigaz's net debt barely changed and ended at $6.2 billion as of 30 September.

Kazakhstan's Energy Ministry also revealed that KazMunaigaz’s share in oil production at the Tengiz field may continue to decline next year as operator Tengizchevroil has a plan to shut the field’s facilities for a 45-day maintenance programme in August and September.

The operators of Kashagan and Karachaganak told the ministry that their field maintenance will be significantly shorter, at 12 and three days, respectively.