Kazakhstan to start using Argus to price sulphur exports

Kazakhstan will start pricing sulphur exports from its giant Kashagan oil field using assessments published by leading global energy and commodity price reporting and news agency Argus.

Kazakhstan’s prime minister, Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, signed a government decree earlier this month specifying that Argus prices must be used in contracts for sulphur exports from Kashagan.

The Kashagan field was discovered in June 2000 and has estimated recoverable crude reserves of up to 13bn bl, making it the largest oil field discovered in the last four decades. Sulphur production and exports from the field began in October 2017, and Kashagan is producing increasing amounts of sulphur as a by-product as crude output rises. The field will produce 1.1mn t/yr of sulphur once it reaches full capacity. China, north Africa and Brazil are the most likely destinations for Kashagan sulphur exports, with buyers using the product mainly to produce fertilizer.

Kashagan is operated by NCOC, a consortium comprising Italian Eni, oil majors Shell, ExxonMobil and Total, China’s state-owned CNPC, Kazakh state-run Kazmunaigaz and Japanese upstream firm Inpex.

The prices that will be used in contracts for Kashagan sulphur exports are for deliveries to the Mediterranean region, north Africa and Brazil, and are published weekly in the Argus Sulphur report.

Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We are delighted that the Kazakh government is further extending its use of Argus prices, as it expands sulphur production and exports from the Kashagan field. Staff from our Astana office, which we opened more than 10 years ago, have worked with the government and producing companies to develop products suitable for their needs.”