Close neighbor and major trade partner for China, Kazakhstan plays a key role in preserving the stability of the strategic source of natural resources for China. The country is a leader in attracting Chinese investment to Central Asia. The overall volume of investment was greater than 70 billion dollars and accounted for 80 percent of Chinese investment in the region. Today, China’s share is about 24% in oil production in Kazakhstan and about 13% in gas production. In terms of reserves, China controls no more than 6% of oil in the country.

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is one of the largest foreign investors in the oil and gas sector in Kazakhstan. CNPC’s activity includes a series of oil and gas projects in various regions of the country, the pipelines “Kazakhstan-China” and “Kenkiyak-Atyrau,” and the gas pipeline “Kazakhstan-China.” In 2013, CNPC obtained an 8.33 percent share in the gigantic Kashagan oilfield.

Within the framework of the SREB, China plans to further spread its involvement into the economy of Kazakhstan and realize multiple industrial and infrastructure projects in the country.

For several years now the government of Kazakhstan has been talking about the so-called 51 projects, that entails a Chinese plan to transfer some of its production facilities – 51 enterprises – to Kazakhstan’s territory.

However, the public does not have a complete picture of these future plans. Crude Accountability, independent journalists, and community members have repeatedly tried to obtain reliable and complete information on the implementation of the 51 Projects.

Public concerns about the environmental aspects of such enterprises remain unanswered.