The Petroleum West


Kazakhstan is an  exporting nation. Most of our petroleum comes from Oil Fields in the Caspian Depression.

Caspian depression is a giant bowl, hundreds of thousands square kilometers of land at sea level or lower.  This land used to be a dust bin nobody cared about.  Up until  Petroleum Production started at Makat in 1904. By 1939 Kazakhstan produced more than 10% of USSR petroleum. The output more than doubled during the Great Patriotic War. It continued to increase after that. In 1991 Kazakhstan became independent.  Two years later giant Tengiz oilfield  was given to Shevron. It is a joint venture they have with our national oil company Kaz Munay Gaz.

Two other giant oil fields are also run by joint ventures. Production at Karachaganak and Kashagan belongs to   consortiums, Kaz Munay Gaz owns about a quarter at both projects.

Those fields are offshore projects, in the middle of Eurasia. The oil comes from under the seabed. Yes, seabed of Caspian Sea, that giant salt lake, whose surface is 28meters below sea level. ( That’s right an entire sea is below sea level.

The Caspian Sea is home for the largest project in history of Post-Soviet Central Asia. The Kashagan oil field contains 10billion barrels of recoverable oil. The production started in September of last year. The project cost more than 50billion dollars.

But, the start of production there did not prevent Kaz Munay Gaz  reported profits fall by 44%, last year, it fell to 132billion Tenges.

Nevertheless their Cap Ex increased by 17% last year, while most oil companies were busy cutting expenses.

Well, that means that oil production certainly will not decrease.


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