Kazakhstan struggles with shortage of fuel

Special correspondent of the "News" department
В Минэнерго стремятся исключить перебои с топливом
The country’s Ministry of Energy is trying to make sure that there is enough fuel / Kursiv.Media

The Ministry of Energy is undertaking measures to ensure consumers in Kazakhstan have enough fuel, although some of its regions are reporting shortages.

«In some regions, we see shortages of fuel due to high consumption. Therefore, the ministry is trying to ensure the country has enough fuel,» the agency said in a statement.

Given the importance of the energy industry, Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov discussed its development with representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Samruk-Kazyna holding and KazMunayGas, the national oil company.

According to officials, in the first quarter of 2023, the country produced more gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied gas than expected. For example, the government managed to increase reserves of diesel fuel from 241,000 tons to 326,000 tons.

However, because the Shymkent refinery (one of the three biggest refineries in the country) has stopped its operation due to maintenance that is going to last until April, the authorities are trying to prioritize. They sent fuel to farmers, engaged in spring planting, then to gas stations and then to socially critical enterprises.

During the meeting with the prime minister, its participants also discussed how to attract big international investors to the country’s energy sector, launch new power-generating facilities (for heat and power), facilitate the development of renewable sources of energy and update engineer infrastructure. Moreover, officials and energy sector representatives shared their opinions about the future of the natural gas industry given the current production and forecast for gas consumption in the mid-term and long term.

On March 14, Minister of Energy Bolat Akchulakov said that this year the country is planning to import about 850,000 tons of gasoline and diesel fuel from Russia. According to the ministry, the high demand for fuel has been driven by transit transportation. On top of that, in 2022, more than 200,000 tons of diesel fuel was illegally withdrawn from the country, some experts estimated.

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