Nurlan Balgimbayev

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Nurlan Balgimbayev
3rd Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
In office
10 October 1997 – 1 October 1999
PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev
First DeputyOraz Jandosov
Akhmetzhan Yessimov
Nygmetjan Esengarin
Preceded byAkezhan Kazhegeldin
Succeeded byKassym-Jomart Tokayev
Personal details
Nurlan Utebovich Balgimbayev

(1947-11-20)20 November 1947
Guryev, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
Died14 October 2015(2015-10-14) (aged 67)
Atyrau, Kazakhstan
Political partyPeople's Union of Kazakhstan Unity

Nurlan Utebovich Balgimbayev (Kazakh: Нұрлан Өтепұлы Балғымбаев, Nūrlan Ötepūly Balğymbaev; 20 November 1947 – 14 October 2015) was a Kazakh politician who served as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 10 October 1997 to 1 October 1999. He became President of the Kazakhstan Oil Investment Company in 2002.


Early life and career[edit]

Balgimbayev was a graduate of the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute.[1][2]

From 1973 to 1986, Nurlan Balgimbayev worked in the oil industry, beginning as chief engineer of oil refinery Zhaikneft. In 1986, he was hired by the Soviet ministry of oil and gas. With the fall of the Russian block in 1991, Balgimbayev left for the US and studied one year at the University of Massachusetts and made a one-year internship at Chevron (1993-1994).

Political career[edit]

Until 1997, he held different minister and vice-minister positions in the Kazakh government. From October 1994 to March 1997, Nurlan Balgimbayev was Minister of Oil and Gas. From March to October 1997, he was the president of KazakhOil (see Tengizchevroil).[3][4]

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan (1997–1999)[edit]

On 10 October 1997, he was named Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and remained in office up until 1 October 1999.[2] The choice for Balgimbayev was motivated by the following factors: the former Prime minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin was privatizing the oil and gas sector too fast and loose, Balgimbayev was already in talks with Russians for a major Caspian pipeline, and he was an IMF-sceptic like the President Nazarbayev.[5] Balgimbayev's plan was also to increase the production of Kazakh oil from 23 million tons to 170 million annually.[6] In 1998, he favored the sale of 40% of Tengiz oilfields to Chevron.[4]


After his tenure as PM, he continued his career as President at state-owned KazakhOil from 1999 to 2002. Lyazzat Kiyinov replaced him after the merger between KazakhOil and Transport Nefti i Gaza companies into the new KazMunayGas.[7] In December 2007, he was appointed adviser to the President.[3] From 2002 to 2007, he managed his own company, the Kazakhstan Oil Investment Company. Since December 2009, Nurlan Balgimbayev had been the director general of a joint venture between KMG and Eni.[4]


On 14 October 2015, Balgimbayev died of cancer in Atyrau at the age of 68.[1]


In 2003, the US justice linked Nurlan Balgimbayev to a $78 million bribe from US oil consultant James Giffen.[8][9][10] Nurlan Balgimbayev was also involved in a bribery case led by oil-industry fixer Friedhelm Eronat.[11] Coined as the Kazakhgate, the case implied the use of bribe money for luxury items and premium education fees in Switzerland.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Ex-Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Nurlan Balgimbayev Passed Away". 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b INFORM.KZ (2015-10-14). "Ex-Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Nurlan Balgimbayev passes away". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  3. ^ a b "Kazakhstan Today | News agency". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  4. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Kazakhstan's Former PM and oilman Nurlan Balgimbaev". Menas Associates. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  5. ^ Ian Jeffries (2003). The Caucasus and Central Asian Republics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: A guide to the economies in transition. Routledge. ISBN 9781134341986.
  6. ^ Michael P. Croissant (1999). Oil and Geopolitics in the Caspian Sea Region. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275963958.
  7. ^ "| «ҚазМұнайГаз» ұлттық компаниясы". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  8. ^ Simon Goodley, Court documents allege 'corrupt' Kazakhstan regime's link to FTSE firms,, 2 December 2010
  9. ^ "Kazakhstan Oil Scandal - Johnson's Russia List 5-19-03". Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  10. ^ Tagliabue, John (2000-07-28). "Kazakhstan Is Suspected Of Oil Bribes In the Millions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  11. ^ "The mystery of Lord Mandelson's finances". Retrieved 2021-11-22.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
Succeeded by