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Kazakh President Shuffles Energy Officials

Lyazzat Kiinov
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has made changes among the country's top oil and natural-gas officials.

Presidential decrees on July 2 relieved Lyazzat Kiinov of his position as chairman of the state company KazMunaiGaz and replaced him with Sauat Mynbaev, who was the country's minister of oil and gas.

The new minister of oil and gas is Uzakbai Karabalin, who was the head of Kazakhstan's Institute of Oil and Gas.

The decision to relieve Kiinov as head of KazMunaiGaz comes just months before commercial production is due to start at the Qashaghan oil field in Kazakhstan's sector of the Caspian Sea.

Analysts in Kazakhstan link Kiinov's dismissal to delays in launching production at Qashaghan, which holds some 35 billion barrels of oil.

Based of reporting by, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax