Kazakh Fund Wants Locals to Gain From $75 Billion Oil Investment

Oct 8. Bloomberg

By Nariman Gizitdinov

Kazakh Fund Wants Locals to Gain From $75 Billion Oil InvestmentKazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund said it will favor oil contractors that hire local businesses as international producers gear up to spend an estimated $75 billion on developing the country’s oil and gas resources.

Chevron Corp. is behind the Tengiz oilfield, while BG Plc is leading the Karachaganak and Eni SpA the Kashagan projects. Contractors that help develop Kazakhstan’s oil services industry will be given preferential treatment, Kairat Kelimbetov, chief executive officer of the National Wellbeing Fund also known as Samruk-Kazyna, said in an Oct. 6 interview in Astana.

“We need to build medium and large local businesses in cooperation with such companies as Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd.,” Kelimbetov said.

Kazakhstan, the biggest energy producer in central Asia, is seeking to boost oil exports by 18 percent to at least 80 million tons a year starting in 2020 from 68 million tons this year, the Oil & Gas Ministry said. The former Soviet republic has eight oil service companies, including two owned by KazMunaiGaz Exploration Production, the London-traded arm of Kazakhstan’s state oil producer.

“We can be a coordinator of this process, by helping the financing to local private businesses,” Kelimbetov said. “We can help but there must be a political will that we will go that way.”

Samruk-Kazyna was created in October 2008 by combining two existing state holding companies. The fund owns oil producer KazMunaiGaz and uranium miner Kazatomprom as well as stakes in metal producers Kazakhmys Plc and Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. It has more than $71 billion in assets, equivalent to 52 percent of gross domestic product.