The oil and gas industry is the basis of Kazakhstan’s economy, and the current trend of higher oil prices has had a significant positive impact on the country’s economy. The new Tokayev leadership has improved Kazakhstan’s investment policy and introduced changes to legislation that make it more advantageous for foreign investment. Since access to fair dispute resolution is one of the most important conditions for investment, the Kazakhstan government focused on improving its rule of law and access to information and procedural integrity when it comes to oil and gas investing.
The list of top oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan is as follows: National Company JSC (KazMunayGas), Chevron Corporation., Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V., PJSC Gazprom., PJSC Lukoil Oil Company.
American oil companies(joint with European) accounted for 42% of the total shares in the oil market in Kazakhstan and now exceed 50%. The starting point of cooperation between Kazakhstan and American oil companies can be considered as April 6, 1993, when the “Contract of the Century” was signed. The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan concluded an agreement with the Chevron Corporation for a term of 40 years. Chevron produces oil in Tengiz, Kashagan, and Karashyganak. Other American companies such as ExxonMobil (Tengiz, Kashagan), and ConocoPhillips (Kashagan) quite successfully work in the Kazakhstan oil market.
European oil companies are also a formidable part of the oil segment in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry. In 1992 the Republic of Kazakhstan and Agip (Italy) and British Gas (Britain) companies signed an agreement on the development of the Karachaganak oil and gas field. This was the beginning of international cooperation between Kazakhstan and European countries in the oil sector. Today the following European companies are engaged in oil production at various oil fields in the Kazakhstan territory: Italian Eni (Agip – a commercial brand of the company), (Karashyganak, Kashagan); French Total (Kashagan), German Royal Dutch Shell (Kashagan), British British Gas (Karashyganak), Spanish Repsol YPF (South Zhambai), Romanian Petrom (Tasbulat, Aktas, Turkmenistan), Danish Maersk Oil (Dunga). Chinese oil companies have been operating in the Kazakhstani market for 15 years.
For the first time, the Chinese government received full access to the strategic area of the Kazakh economy, oil and gas industry, in September 1997. CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) acquired 60.33% of the shares of “Aktobemunaigas” JSC, one of the largest oil companies in Kazakhstan. In 2001, the company also acquired 50% of the shares of Buzachi Operating Ltd (North Buzachi), and in 2006 – PetroKazakhstan. As a whole, the share of these companies (“Kazakhoil-Aktobe” is also owned by Chinese investors) accounted for 97% of produced crude oil in Aktobe oblast.
Another Chinese company CITIC acquired 50% of shares of Karazhanbasmunai (Karazhanbas). Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) has been trying to establish relationships with the Kazakh oil sector since 2002. Japan is very interested in Kazakhstan’s oil. Even then, the Japanese company Impex (an International Oil Company with 50% owned by Japan National Oil Corporation) owned 8.3% of “Agip KCO” and participated in the North Caspian exploration project. Today the company is engaged in the Kashagan field..
Contribution to the development of Kazakhstan’s oil industry has drawn in other Asian oil companies: India’s Mittal Investments (Karakuduk, North Buzachi, South Zhambay, Satpayev), India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd (Satpayev), Turkmen Kazakhturkmunai (Saztyube, Yelemes). A number of new players have recently entered the oil and gas market in Kazakhstan. These include the following companies:
Kazakhstan FIAL (SP FIAL, TOO
GOLD STONE V, TOOAstana,
SUBSOIL ASTANA, TOOKaztsikovski S. O,
DARBY ENERGY, INC. Kizilordinskoy Regions (USA based)