Today Kazakhstan is among the top 15 countries in the world when it comes to essential oil reserves, having 3% of the world's total oil reserves. 62% of the country is occupied by oil and gas areas, and there are 172 oil fields, of which more than 80 are under development. More than 90% of oil reserves are concentrated in the 15 largest oil fields - Tengiz, Kashagan, Karachaganak, Uzen, Zhetybai, Zhanazhol, Kalamkas, Kenkiyak, Karazhanbas, Kumkol, North Buzachi, Alibekmola, Central and Eastern Prorva, Kenbai, Korolevskoye. Oil fields can be found in six of the fourteen provinces of Kazakhstan. They are the Aktobe, Atyrau, West Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kyzylorda and Mangystau provinces. About 70% of the hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated in western Kazakhstan.
The Atyrau province holds claim to the most significant amount of oil fields, in which more than 75 fields have commercial reserves of 930 million tonnes. The largest field in the province is Tengiz (with 781.1 million tonnes of initial recoverable reserves). The remaining fields in the area have around 150 million tonnes of initial recoverable reserves. More than half of those are concentrated in two fields: Korolevskoye (55.1 million tonnes) and Kenbai (30.9 million tonnes).
Mangystau province's territory has been benefited by the discovery of more than 70 fields with commercial recoverable reserves of 725 million tonnes, and 5.6 million tonnes of condensate.
Less than half of the fields are in operation. Most of those fields are mature ones, and are difficult to recover. The largest oil fields are Uzen, Zhetybai, Kalamkas, and Karazhanbas. The largest oil field in the West Kazakhstan Province is Karachaganak with recoverable reserves of liquid hydrocarbon feedstock of around 320 million tonnes and over 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In September 2005 the discovery of hydrocarbons was announced in the Fedorovsky block near Karachaganak block; oil and gas condensate reserves are estimated to amount to 200 million tonnes.
Another promising region in terms of its oil and gas potential is the Aktobe province. Around 25 fields have been discovered there. The most important geological discoveries in this region are the Zhanazhol group of fields with recoverable oil and condensate reserves amounting to about 170 million tonnes. In 2005, it was announced that a new field Umit was discovered in the central block of the eastern Caspian depression.
The most critical for the oil industry in the Kyzylorda and Karaganda provinces is the Kumkol group of fields which is the fifth largest oil and gas area in Kazakhstan. While operating in the area in the summer of 2005 PetroKazakhstan announced the discovery of commercial oil reserves in the licensed Kolzhan area adjacent to the northern boundary of the Kyzylkiya field.
Overall, according to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil and Gas, proven hydrocarbon reserves, both onshore and offshore, are estimated to amount to 4.8 billion tonnes, or more than 35 billion barrels, while as of 2001 the explored in-place reserves of oil were only 2.9 billion tonnes. Furthermore, according to some experts, there are probably more reserves of oil in fields located in the Kazakh section of the Caspian Sea, which may be over 17 billion tonnes or 124.3 billion barrels. Given the oil and gas reserves as well as the ever-increasing production volumes, in the foreseeable future, Kazakhstan is much likely to remain among top oil producers.
Total production of oil and condensate – 78 million tonnes in 2016 (2015: 79.5 million tonnes)
According to the forecasts of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, oil and condensate production in 2017 will be 81 million tonnes and will gradually grow to 88 million tonnes by 2020
According to the Ministry of Energy’s plan it is expected that 14.5 million tonnes of crude oil will be refined in 2017.
The 84.6 million tonnes of crude oil transported last year in Kazakhstan were comparable to 2015 volumes. The volumes transported included 62.2 million tonnes of crude oil and gas condensate which were exported, again slightly higher than the previous year at 102% of 2015 volumes. 40.8 million tonnes of crude were exported via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline to Novorossiysk. 14.1 million tonnes were transported north via the Atyrau-Samara pipeline. 3.1 million tonnes went east to China via the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline.
The volume of gas exports rose by 7.9% in 2016 to 13.7 bcm. The volume of international gas transit through the country was 75.8 bcm, or 87% of the volumes transported in 2015.
In future, the volume of oil and gas in Kazakhstan is expected to grow significantly. The growth of oil and gas production in Kazakh can be linked to the following three factors. First, it is due to a significant influx of investment. Second, due to favourable world market conditions for crude production. Finally, a large-scale study of the subsoil areas in the Caspian and Aral Seas will contribute to further addition of resources.
Materials used from the following sources of information: