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UPDATE 2-Chevron-led Kazakh venture delays expansion after COVID-19 snags

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(Adds TCO's comment)

MOSCOW, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's biggest oil producer, Chevron-led Tengizchevroil (TCO), will delay components of its $45.2 billion expansion project by 3 to 7 months, the country's energy ministry said on Friday.

The delay comes after work on the project was slowed by pandemic restrictions and COVID-19 infections among workers.

"TCO remains focused on the goal to strive for project completion in 2023," it said on Friday.

"With the total project currently at 87% completion, workforce remobilization on track and the company’s vaccination program progressing, the project continues to achieve major milestones."

Although this will incur additional spending, earlier savings are expected to keep the total project within the approved figure, the ministry said in a project description document published on its website.

The Future Growth Project at Tengiz which is set to boost annual oil output by 12 million tonnes will be completed by November 2023 instead of April 2023, according to the document.

The Wellhead Pressure Management Project designed to extend the production plateau and keep existing plants producing at full capacity will be completed by March 2023 instead of December 2022.

Tengizchevroil, in which Exxon Mobil, Russia's Lukoil and Kazakh state firm KazMunayGaz also have stakes, accounts for almost a third of the Central Asian nation's total oil output. (Reporting by Alla Afanasyeva Writing by Olzhas Auyezov and Olga Yagova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens)

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