chapter  1
18 Pages

Resource nationalism in Kazakhstan’s petroleum sector: curse or blessing? ADIL NURMAKOV

Kazakhstan has become the undisputed economic leader in Central Asia. Its growth has been fuelled primarily by the petroleum sector, which accounted for roughly 30 per cent of the country’s GDP and over half its total export revenue (US$17.4 billion) in 2005 (EIA 2005). Although official estimates of recoverable reserves stand at 4.8 billion tonnes, other estimates range from 15 to 17 billion tonnes, some 70 per cent of which are thought to be found offshore (Smirnov 2008). The government’s goals include producing 150 million tonnes of oil per year by 2015 and being ranked among the world’s top ten oil exporters. Both Kazakhstani authorities and the international community see the country’s extractive potential and stable political environment as important components in ensuring long-term global energy security.