Political Learnings of Kazakhstan for Make Benefit the Big Oil Fields
After the fictional journalist Borat Sagdiyev, the "glorious nation" of Kazakhstan is particularly known (and prized) for its three huge oil fields: Tengiz, Kashagan dan Karachaganak.
The Tengiz is a big onshore oil field, one of the biggest in the world, now developed by a consortium of energy companies led by Chevron Texaco of the United States. Its proven oil reserve is 6 to 9 billion barrels. It is a United States and Kazakh joint venture, although Russia's Lukoil holds 5 percent in the project.
The Kashagan, the biggest oil field discovery in 30 years, lies in the Kazakh territory of the Caspian sea, holding 7 to 9 billion barrels of oil. It is in the news today. It is reported that a major operator of the filed, Eni SpA of Italy may lose its control of the project, because the Kazakh government "is very disappointed" with the delays and cost overruns.
Some say the Kazakh government may demand bigger share in the profits. Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Ducth Shell and Total each holds 18.52 percent of the project. It is projected to produce 3 million barrels per day by 2015.
The Karachaganak contains mostly gas and is being developed by a consortium of major oil companies. It holds 2.4 billion barrels of oil and 28 trillion cubic feet of gas. It is developed by British Gas (32.5 percent), Eni (32.5 percent), Chevron (20 percent) and Lukoil (15 percent).
In addition to the three oil fields, another major joint venture project in Kazakhstan is the Caspian Pipeline Consortium from Tengiz to Novorossiik on the Black Sea.
Because of its huge energy reserves, Kazakhstan is courted by both the West and Russia. Perhaps it was no coincidence that Russia was the only country other than Kazakhstan that banned the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make benefit the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan for political reasons.