ASTANA –Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and GasUzakbay Karabalinsaid during a recent briefing at the Central Communication Service on Sept. 18 that Kazakhstan doesn’t have easily extracted oil and that the country’s oil reserves would last another 50 to 60 years.
The oil and gas ministry has registered 201 contracts for subsoil use and more than 80 deposits are now being developed. Oil production in Kazakhstan has grown more than 300 percent since the country achieved independence in 1991, having reached 80 million tons annually. Gas production has grown more than 500 percent, having reached 40 billion cubic metres annually, according to the Central Communications Service.
“In the first eight months of this year, the volume of produced oil and condensate in our country reached 54 million tons, which is 3 percent more than the last year. The production of natural and associated gas reached 27.7 billion cubic metres, which is a 3.3 percent increase compared to last year,” Karabalin said.
Eighty two million tons of oil and condensate production are planned for 2013, which will exceed 2012 numbers.
“Kazakhstan also expects the growth of production of hydrocarbons in the near future. In this sphere, Kazakhstan is one of a few countries to have not yet reached its peak. According to our forecasts, the level of oil production in Kazakhstan may top 130 million tons by 2020. Thereby, the country will join the top 10 oil producing countries of the world,” Karabalin noted.
The minister also explained the importance ofhuge deposits, such as Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan. “These are very difficult projects from a technological point of view, so we should work on them scrupulously,” Karabalin said. “The increase of production entails the formation of appropriate infrastructure. Such large-scale projects, such as the expansion of the Caspian Pipeline Consotium’s pipelinethe Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline and theBeineu-Bozoi-Shymkent gas pipelinewill allow our country to look forward with confidence in matters of transportation of hydrocarbons and target the most promising markets,” the minister added.
According to the minister, Kazakhstan isranked 12thin the world in proven recoverable oil reserves and 20thin gas reserves.