First Online Auction for Subsoil Users in Kazakhstan Brings in over US$144 Million

Kazakhstan held its first online auctions on hydrocarbon exploration and production rights. At the beginning of the auction, the starting price of seven lots was 263 million tenge (US$624,703), but in the end it rose to 61 billion tenge (US$144.8 million). According to Kazakh Energy Ministry, participants bid for the right of exploration in two sites in Atyrau region. The auction grants the right to subsoil use, but not land ownership. Since the auctions are held online, participants can’t see each other. This information is not available for experts from the Energy Ministry either.

Kazakhstan to Accelerate Pace of Geological Exploration

Kazakhstan will accelerate the pace of geological exploration as part of its state program. The project will be implemented with the budget subsidies and subsoil users’ own funds. More than 100 billion tenge (US$237.5 million) will be spent on the search for solid minerals. The environmental problems of industrial regions will be paid attention to. Fees paid by enterprises for the emission of pollutants are planned to be retained in the budgets of cities and districts, and the funds are to be allocated only to solving environmental issues.

“We have revised this norm in the new environmental code, so that all the money would remain in local budgets, and, secondly, all these funds should be allocated to environmental activities,” informed Kazakh Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev.