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A native of the city of Atyrau, Karimova started working at the Atyrau Oil Refinery (AOR) in 1982, with some experience in the oil industry.

After graduating from the Polytechnic College and obtaining specialty “Technician-Electrician,” she was sent to the peninsula Mangyshlak as an intern in drilling management. Later was working in the laboratory in Novy Uzen, where Natalia was testing electronics. She also worked with the exploration of oil wells during her work at “Embaneftgeofizika.” Her experience, energy and such a beautiful trait as the thirst for knowledge helped Natalia to become a good operator, engineer and become a manager of a shift in just for two years. 

“One of my mentors was Gennady Yashkov. As the manager at the refinery he taught me all the lines in pumping oil, how to act in emergency situations, and even then, when he became the head of production department he found time to come to our shop and explain to the new shift, where certain valves were located. As responsive was Mafruza Abulkhatayeva, she was also a manager. These people were always ready to answer any questions.”

Today, Natalia is teaching the youth. She can explain all lines, tanks, valves blindfolded. 

“Back then working conditions were different. There weren’t enough uniforms, the operator’s unit didn’t exist, there were no showers. Wait, I remember, there was an iron shower, which was used by both men and women. Operators were running around with tape-measures,” Natalia recollected. “Our production is spread throughout the refinery. The production, raw material, non-refinery parks - they are all in different places. We had to walk almost ten kilometers a day. Often times a day we had to climb the 10-meter tall tanks up and down, up and down. I would open the latch, come to the operator’s booth, and then someone would call and ask to close it and open another. Again, I had to go to the park. And now – it’s simple! Everything is controlled by a computer, the operators have radio.”

After working as a shift supervisor, Natalia Karimova soon became an engineer for the reconstruction of the shop No. 4, and three years later an MSC engineer. There she learned Project design in three years. And then she returned to her native position as a refinery manager.

1983 was a very important year for her. A young professional from Ufa Marat Karimov started working alongside her at their workshop. He was also appointed as the operator. They worked in one shift, went home and the refinery together. Soon enough they bonded and in 1984 they created a family. A little later they had two sons -- Almir and Rinat.

“What is important in a life of a man? To accomplish the mission which you had when you came into this world. It is to learn, learn a profession, create a family, raise children – direct them to the right path,” reflected Natalia. 

“I am happy to have had my destiny. I never looked back and regretted anything that I had to do. I’ve found my calling, as well as my husband. Our merits have been appreciated. Children found their niche in life. What more could you ask for? Only so all these achievements would continuously multiply.”

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