An Illegal Nationalization Lies at the Root of Tristangate

Twelve years ago today, on 6 May 2008, Kazakhstan’s financial police raided the offices of two Kazakhstani energy companies, KPM and TNG. The raid would last nearly 12 hours. At the time, most of the senior management for the two firms had already fled Kazakhstan, in fear of arrest.

Over the course of two years, more than half a dozen different Kazakhstani government agencies begin carrying out inspections and audits of TNG and KPM, in what an international arbitration panel later described as “a string of measures of coordinated harassment”. Among other things, this resulted in false accusations of illegal conduct, the criminal prosecution of KPM’s general director and criminal charges against three other executives of TNG and KPM.

These actions ultimately led to the illegal expropriation of KPM and TNG, the core assets associated with Tristan Oil, on 21 July 2010.

To read more about the Kazakh authorities’ coordinated harassment campaign of a foreign investor and its companies, visit the timeline.