Kazakhstan's Oil Production to reach 75 Million Tons in 2009

    Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sauat Mynbayev said this year, oil production in the country is projected to reach 75 million tons (approximately 1.5 million barrels per day), 6.2 percent higher than in 2008.
    At this level, Kazakhstan's production will constitute 1.8 percent of the world's total.
    Taking into account the growing rate of extraction and significant explored reserves (3.2 percent of world reserves, or 4.6 billion tons) experts believe in ten years Kazakhstan could become one of the world's largest non-OPEC oil producers.
    Moreover, the proportion of projected resources reaches eight percent (17 billion tons) of the world's total.
    In the coming years, the oil industry will remain an important source of revenue for the national budget.
    The president has already tasked the government with developing oil and gas refineries and infrastructure sectors. Bulat Uzhkenov, chairman of the Geology and Subsoil Use Committee of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said investments in Kazakhstan's oil sector by 2015 would reach 27.3 billion dollars.
    Such factors as the decline of oil production in the North Sea and the increase in oil supplies fr om the Caspian region to world markets would further support Kazakhstan's positions as an alternative energy supplier.
    According to forecasts, in 2015, Kazakhstan's crude oil production in the Caspian Sea area will reach its maximum level of 95 million tons.
    The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources projects up to 160 million tons of crude oil will be produced in the Caspian Sea region in 2015, including Azerbaijan.
    Officials in Kazakhstan have long since recognized the dangers of the so-called Dutch disease, which brings with it overheating of the economy and heavy dependence on oil revenues.
    Hence, in 2000, a National Fund was established, based on the Norwegian model, wh ere excess revenues from extractive industries are accumulated. The reserves of this fund have been quite helpful when Kazakhstan launched its anti-crisis program in 2007, so far using up to 10 billion dollars out of the fund.
    Olzhas Khudaybergenova, director of the Center of Macroeconomic Research, said Kazakhstan will be able to get the maximum benefit from its oil revenues only if the "state ideology will adhere to the principle of "oil-for-technology," meaning all oil revenues should be invested in hi-tech and other industries that would allow the country to develop.
    That has been a driving factor for the country's industrial and innovation development strategy up to the year 2015. She also believes the state should expand its presence in the oil production.
    Together, these factors will enable Kazakhstan to achieve a substantial increase in GDP and average income per capita within the next 20 years, ISRIA reports.