Energy 6 July, 2023 7:30 am   

Mysterious incidents across Kazakhstan are impacting the country’s oil production capability


Since the beginning of 2023, there have been 153 blackouts in Kazakhstan’s oil fields, leading to a decline in production by 75 thousand tons. This is happening at a time when Kazakh oil is presented as an alternative to Russian.

KazMunaiGaz, which signed a contract to supply 100,000 barrels of oil per month to Germany, recorded a loss of 10,000 tons of oil per day. The blackouts halted the operation of KazTransOil’s oil and water pumping station, more than 2,400 Karazhanbasmunai wells, 1,131 Mangistaumunaigaz wells, and 1,809 Embamunaigaz wells.

This is the result of the event of July 3, 2023, when the Mangistau nuclear power plant (MAEK) had to perform an emergy shut down of the first 130 MW unit, cutting off customers in the west of Kazakhstan, including the Atyrau refinery, to which oil stopped flowing. However, the plant uses the oil stored in tanks. Full capacity is expected to be restored by the end of the week.

The total shortage of oil production caused by interruptions to energy supplies in Kazakhstan over the past 2.5 years has reached 279 thousand tons. President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev called for the creation of a commission to investigate the cause of the incidents and to punish the perpetrators. In addition, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kazakhstan has created a special Working Group to investigate these incidents. It is intended to investigate whether the “human factor” is responsible.

Oil from Kazakhstan is presented as one of the sources of diversification of supplies to Europe, and is used, for example, by Germany. Kazakhs want to increase oil production in 2023 by seven percent to 90.5 million tons per year due to greater interest abroad. They are also counting on the development of oil supplies, bypassing Russia with the help of Azerbaijan. Wojciech Jakóbik