Authorities are ready to share refineries with private investors in Kazakhstan

Business news correspondent
The Antimonopoly Agency proposes transferring stakes in Kazakhstani oil refineries to private investors / Collage by, photo editor: Aruzhan Makhsotova

There are three refineries in Kazakhstan (in Atyrau, Pavlodar and Shymkent). According to some media outlets, Russian Lukoil is interested in acquiring the Atyrau refinery, while another Russian giant Gazprom is thinking about purchasing the oil processing plant in Pavlodar. In an interview with, Chair of the Antimonopoly Agency of Kazakhstan Marat Omarov commented on the issue.

«We analyzed how our refineries work and have come to the conclusion that private investors can play a crucial role in the refinery’s business when they have a stake in it. I am not talking about the control stake, of course. If private investors control about 25% of a refinery, it would have a very positive impact on its overall corporate management,» Omarov said.

As the official noted, one of the shareholders of the Shymkent refinery is the Chinese investor; this plant has been reporting the least number of failures and overhauls.

«We thought about why this happened and realized that they have better planning, a higher transparency level of business processes and more efficient procurement procedures. Of course, all these factors contribute to better management in general. That is why we are going to attract an investor for the refineries in Atyrau and Pavlodar. I can’t say who is going to be that investor. This is up to KazMunayGas (KMG) and Samruk Kazyna, shareholders of the refineries,» Omarov underscored.

However, the official revealed that it might be either a foreign or domestic investor. Usually, such assets spark interest among vertically integrated oil and gas companies, which run oil fields and have a full-fledged production cycle.

KMG controls 99% of the Atyrau refinery and 100% of the refinery in Pavlodar. As of 2022, KMG and Chinese CNPC possessed equal shares in the Shymkent refinery (50% each). (All data about the shareholders of PetroKazakhstan, the Shymkent refinery owner, on is hidden.)

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