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Kazakhstan: KazMunaiGaz turned commercial

Kazakh interests in oil and gas sector to be strengthened; ‘Friends & family’ theme receives another boost

In mid-March Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev announced a reshuffle of government posts in a move widely interpreted as a harbinger of increased state influence over the country’s much-prized oil and gas reserves. The changes are also seen as a move to increase the contribution of the non-oil-and-gas sector of the economy.

Sauat Mynbayev will head up the new oil and gas ministry


Sauat Mynbayev will head up the new oil and gas ministry

Prominent in the reorganization was a new oil and gas ministry, which will take over regulatory oversight of the country’s hydrocarbon reserves from national oil company KazMunaiGas. "The ministry will relieve KazMunaiGas of inappropriate functions that create a conflict of commercial and state interests," said Nazarbayev. "The activities of KazMunaiGas should be purely commercial."

Mr Fix-It

Sauat Mynbayev, the former minister of energy and mineral resources, who in recent years has earned a reputation as a Mr Fix-It for his work as a tireless advocate of government interests, was named as the head of the new ministry.

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