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#6 (144), December 2023
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.
Currently, Kazakhstan's oil and gas chemistry is in its formative stages. The republic has already established and operates a number of manufacturing facilities, including plants producing polypropylene, lubricants, gasoline additives, among others. On November 8, 2022, the head of state inaugurated one of the largest factories of its kind in the CIS countries – a polypropylene production plant located in the Atyrau region with an annual capacity of 500,000 tons. This state-of-the-art facility currently has the capability to produce up to 65 grades of polypropylene.
In Russia, it's often said that the two main challenges are fools and roads. In Kazakhstan's oil industry, however, the two most debated topics are oil refining and petrochemicals. Fuel shortages have now become a pressing concern, and the petrochemical industry has been in development since as far back as 2005.
Modern Kazakhstan is not merely a country abundant with natural resources and having the fastest growing economy. It is also the country where importance is being increasingly attached to investment climate. Amid global competition for capital, we see that Kazakhstan is striving to create a favourable environment for investors, whether they are multinationals or local businesses. The government investment policy pays off - we have witnessed a record flow of international direct investments to Kazakhstan, totalled US$ 28 billion in 2022, according to the RK Ministry of Economy.
In late March 2023, a tanker named Akademik Khoshbakht Yusifzade, belonging to the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping Company, docked in Baku from Aktau. It carried 6.9 thous. tons of oil from the Kashagan field. The shipper was one of the shareholders of the North Caspian Consortium – the Japanese company INPEX North Caspian Sea.
By December 10, the National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna intends to hold an IPO of the national company KazMunayGas. The order book will open in early November, which is when the price of the stock will be known. To date, the book value is 14,325 tenge, but the organizers promise a discount. It will not be people's IPO, as it happened, for example, with KazTransOil ten years ago, but the shares will primarily be sold to citizens of Kazakhstan and institutional investors, and what will remain for foreign investors.
The first online auction to grant the right to explore and produce hydrocarbons was held on December 23, 2020.