State intervention in Kazakhstan's energy sector: Nationalisation or participation?

Journal of Eurasian Studies. 2018;9(2):143-151


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Eurasian Studies

ISSN: 1879-3665 (Print); 1879-3673 (Online)

Publisher: SAGE Publishing

Society/Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Geography (General) | Political science

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB



Serik Orazgaliyev (Corresponding author. Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan; Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University, Cambridge Central Asia Forum)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper explores the dynamics of state intervention policies in Kazakhstan's petroleum sector between 2001 and 2012. Although the government in this period had become more assertive in relations with multinational enterprises (MNEs), a full-scale nationalisation had not occurred as the state strengthened control over the industry without forcing out oil multinationals. The findings suggest that the increased state intervention in Kazakhstan's petroleum sector was motivated by a rationale of indigenous capacity-building rather than by an exclusively economic rationale of maximising rents. It is often overlooked that the government endeavoured to achieve a greater participation of Kazmunaigas national oil company (NOC) in the domestic energy sector. Contrary to nationalisation, participation doctrine does not prioritise asset expropriation and/or displacing foreign investors. In Kazakhstan, participation strategy facilitated a partnership between the NOC and MNEs with the aim of strengthening local expertise. Keywords: state intervention, nationalisation, participation, Kazakhstan's energy sector