Tengiz field is an oil and gas field located in northwestern Kazakhstan's low-lying wetlands along the northeast shores of the Caspian Sea. It covers a 2,500 km2 (970 sq mi) project license area which also includes a smaller Korolev field as well as several exploratory prospects.
Sizewise, Tengiz reservoir is 19 km (12 mi) wide and 21 km (13 mi) long Discovered in 1979, Tengiz oil field is one of the largest discoveries in recent history. The city of Atyrau, 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of Tengiz, is the main transport hub of Tengiz oil. Many nations are involved in a large geopolitical competition to secure access to this source of oil.
Tengiz is operated by Tengizchevroil, a 40 year partnership planning to produce billions of barrels of oil from the field. The Tengizchevroil (TCO) consortium has developed the Tengiz field since its founding in April 1993. The partners in Tengizchevroil are Chevron (50%), ExxonMobil (25%), the Kazakhstan government through KazMunayGas (20%) and Russian LukArco (5%)(LukArco was initially a joint venture between Lukoil and Arco, and subsequently BP upon its acquisition of Arco. BP sold its interest in LukArco to Lukoil in December 2009).
In 2001, the partners opened a US$2.7 billion, 1,505-kilometre (935 mi) Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline to export oil from Tengiz to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in Russia. The pipeline which was inaugurated in March 2001 (and loaded its first tanker in October 2001) carried 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d) with planned output of 700,000 barrels per day (110,000 m3/d) for 2010 and an eventual maximum output of 1.5 million barrels per day (240×103 m3/d).
Kashagan, which is located approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) to southeast of Tengiz and is world's largest discovery in the last 30 years, and Tengiz combined, compete with the 22 billion barrels (3.5×109 m3) of the US oil reserves. Kazakhstan also considers building new export routes such as Trans-Caspian Oil Pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey or through Iran to reduce dependence on Russia.