Kazakhstan Ministerial Session Held as Part of the 20th World Petroleum Congress

The Kazakhstan Ministerial Session was held as part of the 20th World Petroleum Congress in the capital of Qatar on 5 December 2011.

Opening the Kazakhstan Ministerial Session, Dzhambulat Sarsenov, General Director, KAZENERGY Association, praised the high level of organisation of the jubilee WPC Congress and read out a welcoming speech on behalf of Timur Kulibayev, President of Kazakhstan Committee, World Petroleum Council.

“Oil and gas, and petroleum products – this is an adequate response to the global need for energy sources in the 21st century. Large-scale investment and innovative activities set by the energy sector is a powerful alternative to the threat of economic slowdown and recession. These are the ideas we implement in our country, where Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, which controls 70% of economy, serves as the centre of technology and business modernisation. By decision of the Fund’s Management Board, the Fund-constituent national companies now channel 10% of their revenues to finance investment, research and development, pilot engineering and technology process activities,” he noted in his speech.

The keynote speaker at the session was Lyazzat Kiinov, Vice Minister of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan, who briefed the Congress delegates and foreign journalists on the achievements, challenges, and prospects of Kazakhstan’s energy sector. Noting that, according to June 2011 data, Kazakhstan ranks 9th in the world in proven oil reserves, Vice Minister highlighted some of the major projects: “With regard to the Tengiz Project, the so-called ‘Future Development Project’ is being detailed featuring a potential production increase from today’s 26 million tons per year to 36 million tons per year.”

“Great work has been done on the Kashagan Project. The date of estimated Kashagan commercial production start-up is still December 2012 - June 2013. And, as you know, Phase I of the project envisages production volumes from 370,000 to 450,000 barrels per day. Indeed, there still remains uncertainty on Phase 2. But I think that with a close cooperation between the contractors and the competent authority, compliance of the proposed solutions with the best international practice standards, and due account of mutual interests the project may be much more successful,” he said. Having explained the situation with developing Block N and Pearl sites, Satpayev, Zhambyl, Khvalynskaya, Central, Abai, Chagala, and Issatai blocks, Vice Minister of Kazakhstan praised the successful work of Kazakhstan geologists. “Finally, I must say that it was KazMunayGas National Company itself that discovered oil and gas fields on Liman and Urikhtau blocks in 2010 and 2011. Now their follow-up exploration and appraisal are underway,” said Lyazzat Kiinov. “We have 61 exploration contracts in the Ministry of Oil and Gas portfolio. The geological risk is always there. Dry holes in Tyub-Karagan and Kurmangazy sites are a testimony to this. However, we certainly have a sound reason to expect a substantial increase in the reserves and production of hydrocarbons,” he concluded.

Having briefed the audience on the main hydrocarbon transportation routes and refurbishment and construction projects for refineries, Vice Minister drew the delegates’ attention to the dynamics of oil and gas production since gaining independence. “As you can see, oil production has increased more than three times and gas production more than fivefold. We expect a significant hydrocarbon production growth in future, too. In this sense, Kazakhstan is one of the few countries where the peak of production is yet to come,” said Kiinov.

Following the Ministerial Session, the delegates present and the reporters asked their questions. Many were interested in the future of the Kashagan Project. When asked by a British newswoman about the relations between the state and investors in developing the Kashagan field, Lyazzat Kiinov said that the state guarantees foreign companies’ operation within the laws of Kazakhstan and does not intend to increase its share.

FYI: Plenary sessions, ministerial sessions, special sessions, forums, and round tables are held within the framework of the WPC. Ministerial sessions of 18 countries are scheduled in the programme of the 20th Congress with 45 minutes allocated for each country’s ministerial session. The Congress delegates attend ministerial sessions of the countries of their interest.

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