From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Distinguish Template:Infobox settlement Atyrau (Template:Lang-kk, اتىراۋ, {{#switch: pron|IPA=IPA: |lang=Kazakh: |pron=pronounced |=|Kazakh pronunciation: }}Template:IPA{{#if:|Template:IPA audio link }}; Template:Lang-ru Template:IPA-ru), known as Guryev (Template:Lang-ru Template:IPA-ru) until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Region. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River on the Caspian Sea, Template:Convert west of Almaty and Template:Convert east of the Russian city of Astrakhan.

Modern Atyrau is famous for its oil and fish industries. It has 154,100 inhabitants (2007), up from 142,500 (1999 census), 90% ethnic Kazakhs (up from 80%), the rest being mostly Russians and other ethnic groups such as Tatars and Ukrainians.


The wooden fort at the mouth of the Yaik River was founded in 1645 as Nizhny Yaitzky gorodok (literally, Lower Yaik Fort) by the Russian trader Gury Nazarov, a native of Yaroslavl, who specialized in trade with Khiva and Bukhara. The fort was plundered by the Yaik Cossacks, leading the Guriev family to rebuild it in stone (1647–62). Tsar Alexis sent a garrison of Streltsy to protect the fort from Cossack incursions. Despite these efforts, the Cossack rebel Stepan Razin held the town in 1667 and 1668. The fort gradually lost its strategic significance and was demolished in 1810. Between 1708 and 1992 the city was known as Guriev. The Kazakh name Atıraw means 'river delta'.


Atyrau (together with Aktau) is Kazakhstan's main harbour city on the Caspian Sea, Atyrau at the delta of the Ural River. Atyrau city is approximately Template:Convert below sea level. The city is considered to be located both in Asia and Europe, as it is divided by the Ural River.

The city is a hub for the oil-rich Caspian Depression; because of this, many oil wells have been drilled in the Tengiz Field and Kashagan Field areas. An oil pipeline runs from Atyrau to Samara, where it joins the Russian pipeline system. A separate oil pipeline runs from the Tengiz field to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.


Atyrau's climate is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk), just shy of being classified as arid (Köppen climate classification BWk), with hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is low throughout the year. Snow is common, though light, in winter. The lowest temperature on record is Template:Convert, recorded in 1909, and the highest temperature is Template:Convert, recorded in 1984.[1] It is much more continental than areas further west on the European continent, with summers characterized by temperatures averaging Template:Convert and lack of precipitation, resembling continental hot-summer mediterranean climates, and subarctic winters with little snow but with chilling temperatures. These vast temperature swings are more comparable to Siberia and the North American plains.

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Oil industry

The third biggest refinery in Kazakhstan is located in Atyrau.[2] Atyrau Refinery is operated by KazMunayGas and has a capacity of 16,600 m³/day (2012). A deep oil refining complex is under construction which is the final stage of complete reconstruction of Atyrau Oil Refinery. This project is designed to process 2.4 million tons/year of raw materials (oil and vacuum gas oil). The project will increase the depth of the oil processing at the refinery by 2016 to 85%. The volume of oil refining will reach 5.5 million tons per year.[3]

Atyrau is located near Tengiz field, which is operated in part by Chevron.[4] Most families of Chevron employees live in Dostyk village, a compound that includes housing, recreational facilities, and an international school.[5] Atyrau also has expatriate populations working for Agip, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips.[6]


The city is home to the basketball team BC Barsy Atyrau, the country's reigning basketball champion. The team competes in the international FIBA Asia Champions Cup and the Kazakhstan Basketball Championship. It plays its home games at the Sports and Recreation complex Atyrau.

International relations

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Twin towns — Sister cities

Atyrau is twinned with:

See also



External links

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