International oil companies operating in Kazakhstan, Central Asia's biggest energy producer, are facing an increasingly adverse investment climate. In a bid to loosen the grip of foreign firms on oil and gas projects, the Kazakh government is enlisting an arsenal of regulatory measures, including tax claims, reinstated oil tax duties and production quotas.
International oil companies have seen their dominance over global hydrocarbon reserves eroded in recent decades. Today, around 80% of total oil reserves are in the hands of state-backed energy companies, and corruption, the rise of resource nationalism and China's ongoing hunt for energy assets are threatening to back oil majors further away from cheap and easily accessible energy supplies.
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