Why Did Kulibayev Change Oil Company’s Founder, and who received 33.9 billion KZT Dividends

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Timur and Dinara Kulibayev built their business empire in the first years of Kazakhstan’s independence. In addition to a bank and processing enterprises, the assets of the son-in-law and daughter of ex-President Nazarbayev also include subsoil user companies. After the events of Bloody January, the stakeholders (founders) and shareholders of most enterprises changed, while the final beneficiaries often remained the same. Orda.kz looked into the situation.

ALMEX PLUS LLP has been engaged in hydrocarbon exploration at the Ansagan field in the Zhylyoy district of Atyrau region, near Tengizchevroil LLP, since February 2014. The Kulibayevs owned the company directly for quite some time. In 2022, they disappeared from the list of founders, but they remained the final beneficiaries. Now the organization is part of their business empire not directly, but through First Petroleum Group LLP.

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First Petroleum Group was created on December 22, 2021. The company has contributed 102 thousand tenge to the state treasury.

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But why was the reshuffle needed if the Kulibaevs continue to be the owners? According to ALMEX PLUS’s consolidated financial statements, last year the company increased its authorized capital by 118.3 billion tenge. The funds were contributed by representatives of First Petroleum Group, and thus the company became a part of the founding members.

Screen of the consolidated financial statements of ALMEX PLUS LLP for 2022

The director's chair at First Petroleum Group has been occupied since November 2023 by Rustem Yershibayev, who previously managed Exploration Production ALMEX JSC (now Green Power Generation) owned by Timur Kulibayev.

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10-year Exploration

The contract for the exploration of hydrocarbon raw materials was first signed by ALMEX PLUS for six years with the right of prolongation. On September 22, 2020, the government signed an additional agreement with the company: the license was extended until February 24, 2024. During this year, the company's management hopes to extend the exploration period for six years, and in 2026 move to the production stage. This is in the consolidated financial report for 2022.

ALMEX PLUS LLP has the right to partially develop 26 blocks at the Ansagan field. The area of the geological allotment is 1,460 sq. km.
Report on Possible Impacts to Supplement No. 2 of the Exploration Project for the Search for Hydrocarbons in the Contract Territory

Under the contract, the company is obliged to allocate 1% of the costs incurred during the production period for the previous year for:

  • The training of Kazakhstani personnel
  • The research, scientific and technological  and (or) development work
  • The socio-economic development of the region

According to the contract, the organization must invest 46.7 billion tenge for exploration work from 2019 to 2024. At the same time, historical costs (total past costs for the study of the contract territory and exploration of deposits — Ed.) amount to 6.4 billion tenge. ALMEX PLUS will pay this money quarterly from the date of oil production and only in case of commercial discovery, which has yet to happen.

Report on possible impacts to the "Ansagan Field Trial Operation Project”

589 million tenge has also been accumulated on a specified account with the LLP, which can be used exclusively for the restoration of the site and in agreement with the government.

The LLP’s Representatives in December 2022 held public hearings in Atyrau on the "Ansagan Field Trial Operation Project". They were attended by more than 20 local residents.

Report on possible impacts to the "Ansagan Field Trial Operation Project”

Due to changes in exploration volumes, ALMEX PLUS has drawn up a new plan for 2023-2024, which includes:

  • Drilling of an independent well Ansagan-5 with a depth of 5800 m
  • Drilling of an independent well M-1 with a depth of 6200 m
  • Partial return of the territory
  • Design and research work

ALMEX PLUS LLP contributed 3.5 billion tenge to the state treasury in 2022.

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Dividends, Losses and Future Plans

The year 2022 has become a landmark year for companies managed by ALMEX PLUS, not only because of the change in stakeholders (founders), but also because of changes in the structure of the entire holding. The LLP has lost one of its assets — Exploration Production ALMEX JSC, engaged in the production of electric and thermal energy.

In March 2022, the company's shares were bought by the management of Timur Kulibayev's other company, Crystal Management JSC, for 80 million tenge. And already in May, Exploration Production ALMEX was renamed GREEN POWER GENERATION.

The ALMEX PLUS Group of companies includes Kaspiy LLP and the gas chemical complex for the production of polypropylene Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. LLP.

Screen of the consolidated financial statements of ALMEX PLUS LLP for 2022

According to the consolidated financial statements, during the past year, ALMEX PLUS and its subsidiary paid 33.9 billion tenge as dividends. The amount was calculated based on financial results in the period from 2014 to 2021. The report does not indicate to whom and how much money the group of companies paid, as well as how much the Kulibayev couple received.

Screen of the consolidated financial statements of ALMEX PLUS LLP for 2022

Despite the dividends paid and impressive tax contributions, last year the company's loss amounted to 135 million tenge compared to 957 million tenge of profit in 2021. This data has been obtained from the consolidated financial statements of the organization.

Screen of the consolidated financial statements of ALMEX PLUS LLP for 2022

As of December 31, 2022, the group of companies repaid the debt for 94 billion tenge via additional investments in the authorized capital. The current assets of the organization thereby exceeded the current liabilities. Management expects to receive funding "from external sources or from participants and other related parties." With this amount, they expect to cover the costs of exploration and development.

The company's business plan states that in 2024, the company's representatives will begin construction of an integrated gas treatment plant as well as the construction of other infrastructure for the transportation and processing of raw materials.

Orda.kz will continue to talk about the specifics of oil and gas contracts in Kazakhstan.

Original Author: Maria Gorbokonenko

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy.

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