Graduated from I. M. Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas with a degree in Technology and Complex Mechanization of Oil and Gas Field Development and in 1973 completed postgraduate courses at the same institute. Doctor of Engineering, Academician of the National Academy of Engineering of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In 1974 Karabalin acted as Chief of Drilling Technology at the Flush Liquid Laboratory of Kazakh Research Geological Prospecting Oil Institute in Atyrau Province. In 1981 became Deputy Director for Research at the Kazakh Research Geological Prospecting Institute. From 1988 to 1990 he acted as Head of the Office of Technical Progress Development and Deep Drilling of the Main Territorial Administration of Prikaspiygeologiya in Uralsk. In 1990 was appointed Department Head of the Guryevsky Branch of the V. I. Lenin Kazakh Polytechnic Institute. In 1991 was a Senior Secretary of the Industry Department of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty. From 1992 to 1994 he acted as Head of the Central Administration of Oil and Gas of the Ministry of Energy and Fuel Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty. He was appointed Head of the Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1994. From 1997 to 2000 he acted as First Vice President of Kazakhoil National Oil and Gas Company in Almaty, and in 2000 became President of KazTransGas in Astana. He acted as Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources from 2001 to 2003, and then was employed as President of National Company (2003-2008) KazMunayGas and CEO of Mangistaumunaigaz. He held the position of Director General at Kazakh Institute of Oil and Gas from December 2009 to May 2013, and acted as President of KAZENERGY Public Fund from May 2013 to July 2013. Since July 2013 he has been the Minister of Oil and Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Recipient of national awards: Order of Otan (December 2011), Order of Kurmet (2000), Order of Barys, 3rd degree (2005) and a social award – Order of the Leader of Russian Economy (2005). Uzakbai Karabalin was awarded the following titles – USSR Exploration Expert (1988), Honored Explorationist of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2003), Honored Sports Figure of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2007) and presented with a national award Hero of Labor of Kazakhstan (December 2011).
He authored the books Development of Subsea Oil and Gas Fields and Transportation and Storage of Oil, Gas and Oil Products, as well as around 50 articles, monographs, research reports and five inventions.