In its «Shocking Predictions» for 2024, released on December 5th, Saxo Bank forecasted an increase in oil prices to $150 per barrel. Saxo Bank traditionally publishes these bold forecasts for the global economy at the end of each year, which are often taken with a grain of salt and seen as tongue-in-cheek to entertain the audience. After all, the Danish bank describes scenarios that at first glance seem utterly improbable, with the caveat that should they occur, a colossal shockwave could hit the markets.
At the Kazakhstan Energy Week-2023 / XV Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum, held in Astana in early October, the annual National Energy Report (NER) was unveiled. Energy continues to be a significant component of Kazakhstan's economy: the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 resulted in the most serious economic downturn (a GDP decline of 2.6%) since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. However, active economic recovery afterward has been mainly due to the energy sector.
From Oil Export to Capital Export. Why Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Invest Petrodollars in Overseas Projects
Baku and Astana continue to allocate financial resources, derived from the sale of raw materials abroad, into industry-relevant assets overseas, including refineries, petrochemical plants, and gas stations. The objectives of such activities are to integrate into the global fuel market, increase the profits of core state-owned companies, and create profitable assets abroad that can generate revenue for the state treasury even after the hydrocarbon resources of the mentioned countries are depleted.
Plastic Recycling, Glass Processing, and Hydroponic Installations: Eco-Projects by Students Transforming the World
On December 13, Nazarbayev University hosted a showcase of eco-projects from the Sustainability Living Lab (SLL) program, a unique initiative promoting environmental sustainability in Kazakhstan's universities. Students from Nazarbayev University, Karaganda Buketov University, and other domestic higher education institutions presented their eco-projects to journalists.
In the middle of October 2023, Kazakhstan President, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, took part in a 10th Anniversary Forum for the global “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The Kazakhstan President noted that the initiative had proved its worth, been recognised by the global community and transformed itself into an immense project on a global scale, becoming a vital platform for collaboration.
On December 12, 2023, an award ceremony for the Paryz competition was staged in Astana. It was attended by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The gold award of the republican competition for social responsibility “Paryz” in the nomination “The Best Socially Responsible Enterprise” in the big business category was allotted to the Joint Stock Company “Caspian Pipeline Consortium-K”.
The commencement of Russian gas deliveries to Uzbekistan via Kazakhstan in early October marked a major headline of 2023 in the global energy market. Industry experts are noting the significant potential of this collaboration, eyeing the possible expansion of transit routes not just to China, but also to India and Pakistan through the TAPI pipeline. In this setup, Uzbekistan stands to not only earn revenue from the transit of Russian gas but also to establish itself as a fully-fledged gas hub, thereby enhancing its potential.
September 1, a delegation from KazTransOil, led by General Director Talgat Kurmanbayev, conducted negotiations in Beijing with executives from China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Company Ltd. and CNPC Exploration and Development Company Ltd. The discussions centered on collaboration within the management of joint ventures MunaiTas and the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline, focusing specifically on the expansion projects of the Kenkiyak-Atyrau and Kenkiyak-Kumkol oil pipelines.
October 4, shareholders of Phystech II at an extraordinary general meeting decided to transfer voluntarily and gratuitously 100% of the company's voting shares, valued at 35.417 billion tenge (about $72 million), to the state as a gift. The main asset of Phystech II is the Karazhanbas North field in the Mangistau region, with reserves of 39.5 million barrels of oil.
November 1, during French President Emmanuel Macron's official visit to Astana, an agreement was signed to establish a joint venture for the construction of wind power plants in Kazakhstan with a total capacity of 1 GW. The project participants from the Kazakh side are Samruk-Kazyna (20%) and KazMunayGas (20%), and from the French side, Total Eren (60%). The implementation is planned in two phases: the first will commission a 300 MW initial capacity; the second will add the remaining 700 MW. The wind farms will be equipped with a 300 MW energy storage system, reducing the risk of grid instability due to the intermittent nature of wind generation.