Thursday, August 24, 2017


My blogging petered out.  I hadn't intended to stop but I just ran out of things to say.  Or rather the things that I wanted to write about were just too risky to put in a blog, so I lost interest.

I would have like to write about the working environment that people always talked about, the corruption and the attempts at corruption, the incompetence of people, the ludicrous results of the Nationalisation requirements.  

Then there were the issues of cultural differences in a venture where Dutch and British, Italians and Kazaks, plus many others from countries like Malaysia, Nigeria, America and Venezuela, were all trying to work together or not.

When first oil finally flowed billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule it had to be turned off.  The pipelines were leaking and had to be replaced, leading to months more of delays and budget overruns.

The real story of Kashagan will one day be told.  Like the famous book about the early oil industry in the Caspian, "The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on he Caspian Sea" by Steve LeVine, it will be full of intrigue and deal making.  And like the LeVine book it will surely be banned in Kazakstan.

And in any case I started blogging to inform family back in the west what like was like for us in Atyrau.  As it happened I got many many more readers from all over the world.  People coming and thinking of coming to Kazakhstan read it and sometimes contacted me.  I even found a recruitment company was using it to inform their clients about the Atyrau life style.  As time went on Life in Atyrau became more normal.  It became a family posting, the accommodation improved, new restaurants opened, new supermarkets opened, a proper Shell clubhouse was built and a Burger King opened.  It became more "westernised", at least by appearance.  There was no longer a use for my blog.

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