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Energy in Kazakhstan

Energy in Kazakhstan describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Kazakhstan. Energy policy of Kazakhstan describes the politics of Kazakhstan related to energy.


Kazakhstan is net energy exporter. Kazakhstan has oil, gas, coal and uranium reserves. Kazakhstan is a leading energy producer in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It is a major producer of oil, gas, and coal, as well as being the largest producer and exporter of uranium ore in the world. [1]

Energy in Kazakhstan[2]
Capita Prim. energy Production Export Electricity CO2-emission
Million TWh TWh TWh TWh Mt
2004 15.0 638 1,379 742 54.4 162.2
2007 15.5 773 1,582 811 68.9 190.5
2008 15.7 825 1,723 899 73.5 201.6
2009 15.9 766 1,696 931 71.6 189.5
2012 16.6 908 1,863 972 81.0 234.2
Change 2004-09 6.0% 20.1% 22.9% 25.6% 31.7% 16.9%
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses.

According to IEA primary energy supply increased 29% and energy export 21% from 2004 to 2008 in Kazakhstan.

Energy by sources


Kazakhstan has estimated 30 billion barrels of oil reserves. The main reserves are in five largest onshore oil fields of Tengiz – the largest oil producing field with 565,000 barrels per day of crude in 2011 - Karachaganak, Aktobe, Mangistau, and Uzen, all of which are located in the western part of the country. These hold half of current proven reserves. The offshore fields of Kashagan and Kurmanagazy in the Caspian Sea are estimated to hold minimum 14 million barrels. With 9 – 11 billion barrels, Kashagan is the largest oil field outside of the Middle East. It is estimated to come on stream in 2016 and reach production of 1.5 million barrels per day at its peak. Kazakhstan is a major oil producer with an estimated total production of 1.64 million barrels per day in 2013. The country consumes around 13 per cent of the supply domestically and exports the rest to major oil markets. To continue expanding the liquids production above its current levels, the country needs to develop its Tengiz, Karachaganak, and Kashagan fields as well as add export capacity. [3]

KazMunayGas (KMG), the national oil and gas company, was created in 2002 to represent the interests of the state in the oil and gas industry. The oil production development has been made possible largely due to significant foreign investment, primarily from the Netherlands and the US in the early 2000s. In 2010, the Kazakh government took away KMG’s responsibility to regulate the sector to enable the company’s higher level of involvement in the commercial sector. The government now reserves a majority stake for KMG in all new projects and joint ventures. KMG now controls 20 per cent of total oil and gas proved reserves of Kazakhstan and produces 27 per cent of total oil and gas condensate and 14 per cent of gas. [4]

Kazakhstan has three major refineries - Atyrau, Shymkent and Pavlodar. Their combined crude refining capacity amounts to around 350,000 barrels per day, roughly evenly split amongst the three. Due to aged infrastructure, they mostly operate only at 60 per cent of their capacity. The government has made significant investment in the modernization of these units to be completed around 2016. [5]

Natural Gas

Kazakhstan’s proven reserves of natural gas are 85 trillion cubic feet. (2013). Majority of natural gas reserves are located in the west of Kazakhstan and concentrated in four fields – Karachanganak (46 per cent), Tengiz (12 per cent), Imashevskoye (7 per cent) and Kashagan (12 per cent). [6] Between 2000-2012 the natural gas production increased four times to 40.1 billion cubic meters in 2012. However, only 53 per cent of this gas was for commercial purposes; the rest was re-injected into oil fields to enhance production. [7]

Kazakhstan’s gas production suffices to meet domestic demand of 10.5 billion cubic meters (2012). However, due to limited internal gas pipeline network that does not connect all the production centers (west) with demand centers (south, east, north), the country needs to import gas from Uzbekistan to satisfy the demand in the south of the country and from Russia to satisfy demand in the north and east. In 2012, the country exported 8.8 billion cubic meters of gas to China through the Central Asia – China pipeline. Kazakhstan serves as a major transit country for gas exports from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan that are destined to Russia and China. In 2012, the amount of gas transited through Kazakhstan was 96.5 billion cubic meters. [8]


Kazakhstan sits on Central Asia’s largest recoverable coal reserves. At 33.6 billion tonnes the reserves represent 3.8 per cent of global total reserves. (2013). In 2013, the country produced 58.4 million tones. [9] Coal production stands at 70 per cent of what it was during the Soviet Union. The largest coal producer is Bogatyr Coal that operates the largest 4.5 billion tons open-pit coal mine in the world in Ekibastuz in the northeastern region of Kazakhstan. In 2012 Bogatyr Coal produced 46 million tons of coal. [10]

Majority of coal, 75 percent, is used for domestic consumption, power generation in particular. The largest importers of Kazakhstan’s oil include the neighboring southern Russia and Ukraine. [11]

Coal in Kazakhstan (Mt)[12]
Production Import
2005 79 15
2008 108 27
2009 101 22
2011 117 34

A major concern of the coal mines of Kazakhstan is safety and prevention and control of mine explosions.[13]

In 2009 Kazakhstan was 8. top coal producer: 96 million tonnes hard coal and 5 million tonnes brown coal. 22 Mt of hard coal was exported (2009). In 2009 Kazakhstan was world 8. top coal exporter. The top hard coal net exporters in 2009 were (Mt): Australia 262, Indonesia 230, Russia 93, Colombia 69, South Africa 67, United States 33, Vietnam 25, Kazakhstan 22, Canada 20 and Czech Republic 4.[14] The coal of Kazakhstan has low energy value 0.444 toe/tonne compared to e.g. in this respect top coal of Australia 0.689 toe/tonne.[15]

Assuming both hard coal 96 Mt and brown coal 6 Mt having about the same energy value,: the coal production would have been about 101 Mt*0.444 toe/Mt*11.630 TWh/toe = 521 TWh in 2009 and export .22*0.444 toe/Mt*11.630 TWh/toe = 114 TWh.


In 2013, the country produced 93.76 billion kWH - 70 billion kWh (81%) from coal, 8 from gas and 8 from hydro. The country has 71 power stations, including 5 hydro power plants located on the Irtysh river, which translates to total installed generating capacity of 19.6 GW. 75 per cent of electricity generated is consumed by industry, 11 per cent by households, 2 per cent by transportation. [16]


In 2003 one of the largest foreign corruption investigations in US was uncovered connected to the Government of Kazakhstan funds from oil transactions. Global corruption report 2009 refers to alleged scheme were the Kazakh president and oil minister demanded that international oil companies pay fees to a middleman. The case was under investigation in 2009. According to claims the middleman got from the deals some US$78 million in gifts and bribes to the Kazakh president and others through bank accounts in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the British Virgin Islands.[17]

According to media reports, the former chief executive of German MAN SE’s turbine manufacturing unit MAN Turbo AG, pleaded guilty in June 2010 of bribery. In one case, he reportedly paid a bribe to obtain a major contract with MunayGaz in Kazakhstan for construction of a gas turbine compressor station, which he claimed was solicited in 2004.[18]

Kazakhstan oligarch

Oligarch in Kazakhstan known as the “Trio” are active also in oil & gas: Alijan Ibragimov, Alexander Mashkevich and Patokh Chodiev.


In oil town Zhanaozen oil workers have struck already for half a year in December 2011 for better wages. 15 people died in the demonstrations in December. On 17 December, a state of emergency was declared. In the oil company leadership ex oil sub secretary of state and a new municipal leader Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov were selected based on protests.[19]

See also

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  1. ^
  2. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  3. ^ US Energy Information Administration Kazakhstan Snapshot 2013
  4. ^ E&Y Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Tax Guide 2014
  5. ^ US Energy Information Administration Kazakhstan Snapshot 2013
  6. ^ ([1] US Energy Information Administration Kazakhstan Snapshot 2013)
  7. ^ Kazakhstan announces 2012 oil and gas production figures)
  8. ^ US Energy Information Administration Kazakhstan Snapshot 2013
  9. ^ BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014
  10. ^ Bogatyr Komir data
  11. ^ US Energy Information Agency data
  12. ^ IEA Key energy statistics 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2006 page 15
  13. ^ Coal from the East and the South, Responsibility in energy company coal purchases, FinnWatch 23.12.2010
  14. ^ Key world energy statistics 2010 IEA
  15. ^ Key world energy statistics 2010 IEA page 59
  16. ^ Uranium and Nuclear Power in Kazakhstan,
  17. ^ corruption report 2009 Corruption and the Private Sector Transparency International August 2009 page 55
  18. ^ Progress report, Enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention 2010 Transparency International July 2010 page 34
  19. ^ YK mukaan tutkimaan Kazakstanin levottomuuksia YLE 22.12.2011 Invalid language code.

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