Oil and Gas

Kazakhstan to cut gas exports by 2 bcm to meet domestic needs

NUR-SULTAN, June 9 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his government on Thursday to ensure that domestic sales of natural gas are increased by 2 billion cubic metres a year at the expense of exports and in order to cut coal consumption.

It was unclear whether the move would affect supplies to China, the main buyer of Kazakh gas, or Russia, and when exactly it would take effect.

Tokayev instructed officials that the additional sales must come from the Chevron-led giant Tengiz oil and gas field.

Kazakh gas exports have been on the decline since 2020, first due to a slump in Chinese demand and then because of growing local consumption. Last year, Kazakhstan piped 6 bcm of gas to China and 1 bcm to Russia.

The former Soviet republic wants to reform its coal-dominated electric power industry and considers gas the best replacement in the short run. (Reporting by Tamara Vaal Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by David Evans)