Kazakhstan is a growing economic power with a strong resource base. The country has 3% of the world’s raw materials and a natural resource base of over $300,000 per capita, which is among the highest in the world and is twice the level of Russia and higher than Australia. Oil plays a big role in Kazakhstan. With nearly 40 billion barrels in reserves and 2 percent of global production, the country has the world’s ninth largest proven reserves and is among the 20 largest oil producers. It has 4% of the global iron reserves, 8% of the world’s zinc reserves and 4% of the world’s chrome reserves.
Kazakhstan’s oil and gas complex remains the powerhouse of our economy, which facilitates growth of other sectors. We have successfully created a modern and efficient oil, gas and mining sector. The share of the oil and gas sector within the country’s GDP has been growing at a steady rate, increasing from 3.7% in 1997 to 14.7% in 2006 and up to 25.8% in 2011. We’ve diversified our export markets and secured our positions, thereby having reduced our dependence on any particular export direction.
Kazakhstan has made good use of its rich natural resources such as oil, gas and uranium. In the early 1990s, President Nazarbayev had the foresight to create a fund, based on the Norwegian model, which preserved oil and gas revenues for our children and our grandchildren. This so-called “fund for future generations” has now accumulated over $47 billion and is the cornerstone to managing and preserving the country’s oil wealth.
Industry analysts believe that a planned increase in oil production and the development of new oil fields will enable Kazakhstan to produce as much as 3 million barrels (477,000 tons) per day by 2015, lifting the country into the ranks of the world's top 5 oil-producing nations. Major oil and gas fields and their recoverable oil reserves are Tengiz with 7 billion barrels (1.1 bln. tons); Karachaganak with 8 billion barrels and 1.35 trillion m³ of natural gas; and Kashagan with 7 to 9 billion barrels (936 mln. to 1.2 bln. tons).
In order to ensure the further development of a competitive economy and industrial modernization, Kazakhstan adopted a five-year State Program for accelerated industrial innovative development and an industrialization map. During the past two years of implementing the course, Kazakhstan has built approximately 400 new factories. 60 new enterprises are up and running at full capacity, and have already produced goods worth $2 bln.
Today new large-scale projects in the sphere of high processing of our natural resources are taking place.
1) The Government has began the construction of the first module of the Balkhash Thermal Station with the power of 1320 MW and worth 2.3 billion USD, in order to solve the problem of energy shortages and energy dependency of the southern regions. The thriving southern region has a shortage of electricity. One of the largest energy project in Kazakhstan is also the construction of the Moinak hydro-electric power station. The cost of the project with the capacity of 300 megawatt is $364 million. The capacity of Bestyubinsk water reservoir is enough to store up to 300 million cubic meters of water. Two powerful hydro-turbines produce 300 megawatt of electric power.
2) The Kazakhstan’s section of the international motor road corridor "Western Europe – Western China", which will pass through our Southern regions and will then go to Russia via Aktobe, will be completed by 2015. The construction of two new rail lines – Zhezkazgan-Beyneu (1,200 km) and Arkalyk-Shubarkol (200 km) will begin in Central Kazakhstan. These projects will provide infrastructure in the developing regions of the country and will make Kazakhstan a transit state.
3) Kazakhstan plans to establish the complex of deep refining at the Atyrau Refinery priced at 1.7 billion USD, which will increase production of petrol almost 3 times – up to 1.7 million tons, and diesel fuel - up to 1.4 million tons, and provide these fuels to Kazakhstan.
4) Kazakhstan's first integrated gas and chemical complex worth $6.3 billion, which is under construction about 30 km away from Atyrau, will be commissioned in 2015. The complex is designed to produce annually 800,000 tons of polyethylene and 500,000 tons of propylene.
5) The Government plans to begin construction of a gas processing plant with the capacity of 5 billion cubic metres a year on the Karachaganak field.
6) Kazakhstan plans to launch a pipeline system that will provide gas supply in the central region of the country, including its capital.
The demand in the world for quality uranium fuels increases year by year. Forty new power generating units are being constructed in fifteen countries of the world. Kazakhstan has been an important source of uranium for more than fifty years. In 2011, the country maintained its position of the world's leading uranium producer, with almost 35% of world production. Kazakhstan has the second largest uranium reserves. Total resources and reserves of uranium are over 1.5 million tonnes, over 1.1 million tonnes of which can be mined by the in-site leaching method. Some 50 uranium deposits are known, in six uranium provinces. Between 2001 – 2011, uranium production in Kazakhstan rose from 2000 to 19,450 tonnes per year, and further mine development is underway with a view to reaching a production rate of 30,000 tonnes/year by 2018. State owned National Atomic Company Kazatomprom is the sole organization for uranium mining, reprocessing, export & import operations in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has launched a new strategy 'Kazakhstan 2050' to define our country’s long-term development in the 21st century. Within the strategy, main directions of development of extractive industry have been laid out:
• To ensure that regions of Kazakhstan are interested in attracting investments, the moratorium on subsurface use permits will be abolished.
• Kazakhstan will move from simple delivery of commodities to establishing partnerships in area of energy resource processing and exchange of new technologies. By 2025 our country should fully satisfy our internal market with fuels and lubricants in accordance with new ecological standards.
• Kazakhstan will attract investors only on the conditions of transfer of modern technology for extraction and processing. Investors will be allowed to extract and use raw materials only in exchange for creating new production facilities on the territory of our country.
• Kazakhstan is set to become the regional magnet for investment by becoming an attractive place for investments and technology transfer.
• All extracting enterprises must introduce only eco-friendly production techniques
Having abundant natural energy resources, the Government and the country’s energy sector keep an attentive eye on global energy trends. Optimal energy mix, efficient energy use, significant environment component of energy policy, research and development of renewables are all on the country’s energy policy agenda.
In the 20 years since the diplomatic relations between two countries have been established, the United States of America and the Republic of Kazakhstan have worked closely together to achieve our shared energy, nuclear security and nonproliferation goals. In 2001, Kazakhstan and the United States established the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership. 9th meeting of the Kazakh-U.S. Energy Partnership Commission was held in Washington, D.C., on Oct 15-16, 2012.
It was co-chaired by Kazakhstan's Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. The Joint Statement and the 2012-2013 Joint Energy Partnership Action Plan were adopted. Two countries reviewed the current energy cooperation and discussed prospects for partnerships in the nuclear industry and on non-proliferation issues. Other topics included hydrocarbons, electrical power, alternative energy and energy saving techniques. The next, 10th meeting of the Commission will be held in Astana in 2013.