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Kazakhstan – Energy Analysis Brief

Kazakhstan – Country Energy Analysis Brief

(Open Eyes Opinion – information sourced from: US Energy Information Administration – January 14, 2015)


Kazakhstan, an oil producer since 1911, has the second largest oil reserves as well as the second largest oil production among the former Soviet republics after Russia.

Kazakhstan is a major oil producer. The country’s estimated total petroleum and other
liquids production was 1.70 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2014. The key to its continued
growth in liquids production from this level will be the development of its giant Tengiz,
Karachaganak, and Kashagan fields. Development of additional export capacity will also be
necessary for production growth.

Although Kazakhstan became an oil producer in 1911, its production did not increase to a
meaningful level until the 1960s and 1970s, when production plateaued at nearly 500,000
bbl/d, a pre­Soviet independence record production level. Since the mid­1990s and with the
help of major international oil companies, Kazakhstan’s production first exceeded 1 million
bbl/d in 2003.

Rising natural gas production over the past decade has boosted oil recovery (as a
significant volume of natural gas is re-injected into oil reservoirs) and decreased
Kazakhstan’s reliance on natural gas imports. Natural gas consumption, however, has
been stagnant as the infrastructure and expense required to connect Kazakhstan’s widely
dispersed population to production centers in the country’s northwest has impeded

Kazakhstan is landlocked and is far from international oil markets. The lack of access to the
open ocean makes the country dependent mainly on pipelines to transport its hydrocarbons
to world markets. Kazakhstan is also a transit country for natural gas pipeline exports from
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Kazakhstan consumed a total of 2.8 quadrillion Btu of energy in 2012, with coal accounting
for the largest share of energy consumed at 63%, followed by oil and natural gas at 18%
and 16%, respectively.

Kazakhstan is a Caspian Sea littoral state. The legal status of the Caspian area remains
unresolved, mainly driven by a lack of agreement on whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake.
Until all states agree on a definition, legal status of the area will remain unresolved.

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