Kazakhstan has abundant natural resources with a total potential value estimated at $8.7 trillion. In particular, Kazakhstan's hydrocarbon reserves are vast - with potentially the world's third largest reserves of oil, after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Kazakhstan is committed to the development of multiple oil export routes, since existing pipelines and transport options do not have sufficient capacity to support its potential oil reserves of 100-110 billion barrels.
Since 1899, when oil was first discovered in Atyrau, partnership with the West has been central to energy resource development in Kazakhstan. The first well, the 40-meter deep Karachungul well, produced approximately 150 barrels daily and was drilled by the British developer Alfred Nobel working with Russian industrial companies. By 1912, there were 15 operating wells, each producing 306-346 barrels a day on average, and a transit system that was shipping 5,453 barrels of oil to Baku annually via barge. While the proper development of Kazakhstan's enormous oil reserves has been interrupted by two world wars, a revolution and the dissolution of the Soviet system, the existence of deep wells and the development of transportation solutions have remained central to Kazakhstan's energy equation.
Current Status of Oil Sector
It has proven reserves of 35 billion barrels. The largest onshore oil fields are Tengiz, one of the world's 10 largest oil fields with 6-9 billion barrels of reserves, and Karachaganak with 2.2 billion barrels. Recent seismic studies -suggest that Tengiz may have between 9 and 13.5 billion barrels of oil.
-Tengizchevroil, the joint-venture consortium developing the Tengiz field, is comprised of Chevron, Kazakhoil, Mobil .and LukArco
-Drilling at Karachaganak is managed by a consortium of ENI, British Gas and Texaco.
In addition to major oil deposits, Karachaganak also has 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Kazakhstan is committed to the development of multiple oil export routes, in order ro support its potential oil reserves of 100-110 billion barrels.
-Kazakhstan has proven gas reserves of over 2 trillion cubic meters, which is modest relative to neighbors Russia and Turkmenistan. Projected gas reserves are 5 trillion cubic metres.
The most promising recent discovery of major hydrocarbon deposits is the offshore Kashagan structure, which is three times larger than Tengiz. The consortium developing this 2,000 square mile block 14,000 feet below the Caspian sea bed includes nine companies: BP Amoco, ENI, British Gas, Mobil, Shell, Total Fina Elf, Phillips, Statoil and Inpex.