Chevron Plans Big Kazakh Push

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Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said its Kazakh oil venture, Tengizchevroil, plans to invest $20 billion through 2016 to increase oil production by as much as 40%. Tengizchevroil is already Kazakhstan's largest oil producer, having pumped 25.9 million tons of crude last year.

The venture is hoping to increase its annual oil production to 36 million tons, which could result in investments of $15 billion to $20 billion. California-based Chevron (CVX) is the largest stakeholder in the project.

Kazakhstan, which produced 79.5 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate in 2010, is the second-biggest oil producer of the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, trailing only Russia, the world's largest oil producer, Reuters reported. The country has ambitions to raise production to 100 million tons by 2015 and 130 million tons by 2020, according to Reuters.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) the largest U.S. oil company, is also a partner on the venture as are KazMunaiGas, the Kazakh state-run oil and gas producer, and Russia's Lukoil.