Let’s keep it real. Kazakhstan’s oil problems predate COVID. Especially its giant Kashagan field was developed assuming that oil prices would stay 3 digits pretty much forever. And it has not been 3 digits for quite a number of years now. This means that without some massive trickery this field alone must produce at a loss. COVID and the preceding oil price war just made things a lot worse. But if you are already dead in the water, how much worse can it really get? The remedy cannot be superficial anymore – they will need to perform surgery.
Surging Covid cases are not the only challenges facing Kazakhstan’s largest oil and gas developments