Kazakhstan - Uzakbay Karabalin.
Aged 62, Karabalin was born in the Atyrau region, which has become the main petroleum producing province in Kazakhstan. Through his career he has dealt mainly in natural gas issues. He was involved in development of the Amangeldy gas field. In 1997 he took up a post in KazakhOil. He was made a president of KTG in 2000. In 2001 he served temporarily as deputy minister of energy and mineral resources.
When asked about potential privatisation of KMG, Karabalin as head of the group until June 2006 ruled out such a possibility, saying the group's role was to represent "state interests" in the petroleum sector - echoing his predecessor Kiinov on this matter. But "state interests" can be broadly defined and are often used as a cloak for the interests of powerful Kazakh officials, as KMG is also an "independent commercial firm".
Through its affiliates, KMG has interests covering the entire spectrum of petroleum operations, including E&P, transport, refining, trading, and the distribution of oil and gas and refined products (see Vol. 63, DT 6).