Interview with Bolat Akchulakov
Prospects for Recoverable Oil Reserves in the Unexplored Fields of Kazakhstan is more than 70 billion tons.
This was reported by Bolat Aqchulaqov, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the international scientific-practical conference in Astana on “Topical issues of Oil and Gas Industry Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, which was organized by KMG Engineering.
“Over the years, the Oil and Gas Industry has been the primary driver of economic growth. And it still is, but it is being qualitatively transformed in terms of production, with many tasks being implemented for deep processing of raw materials. This includes not only the development of oil refining, but also petrochemicals, and it is one of the most important factors in the future development of the Oil and Gas Industry, especially given the importance of the Green Agenda today. Although alternative energy sources are clearly evolving, I would like to emphasize once again that hydrocarbons are not only an energy source, but also a valuable raw material for the petrochemical industry and deep conversions. It is possible to produce a wide range of products that are already used all over the world. That is why this is our primary objective,” stated the Head of Department.
In response to journalists’ questions, the Minister emphasized the conference’s importance and timeliness:
– The relevance is that we need to develop the resource base. Not just develop, but rather replenish the resource base. Unfortunately, old fields that have been developed for many years are depleted, and new oil recovery technologies do not always succeed, so we need new reserves, new resources.
– Bolta Uralovich, how do you plan to solve the problem of replenishing the resource base?
– This problem is solved naturally by creating a special environment of course. This is an improved model contract that is currently being considered by the Majilis. We expect its approval at the level of amendments to current law by the end of this year. This will create an opportunity to attract significant investment for the exploration and development of new fields. Particularly those residual basins that have remained undeveloped. That is, out of 15 such basins, 5 have such production, and 10 basins are still practically unexplored currently. Therefore, there is a huge potential for reserves. rospects for recoverable oil reserves in unexplored fields of Kazakhstan is more than 70 billion tons. Geologists believe that the total recoverable prospective resources in all residual basins exceed 70 billion tons, which is more than ten times Kazakhstan’s current recoverable reserves. From this standpoint, the importance of an improved contract model in allowing investors to invest in exploration first and development second is critical.
– What countries do you plan to attract investment to Kazakhstan from?
– Over the years, Kazakhstan has attracted significant investment in the Oil and Gas Industry. And almost all of the major international companies now work for us. We expect that investors will come from the same countries, primarily from Europe, the United States, Russia, and China. There may be new players, and investors from India are interested in this opportunity now because the country’s economy and hydrocarbon consumption are growing.
– Could you briefly share the results of the President’s recent trip to France and the agreements reached?
— It mainly covered the field of energy development. There was an agreement signed that defines the conditions for the construction of a 1 GW Wind Power Plant in Zhambyl district of Almaty region near Balkhash lake with the power output scheme of this plant, and its capacity for a single plant for the first time in Kazakhstan is an innovation. Such plants do not exist in every part of the world. This project also calls for the installation of energy storage systems, or batteries that will collect excess electricity from the same plant and feed it into the grid, thereby covering all loads. The energy storage system is designed to store approximately 300 MW in the first stage. Note that the participants and speakers of panel discussions at the previous international scientific-practical conference were representatives of research institutes, universities, scientists, and entrepreneurs who gathered in Astana on a single platform to improve the efficiency of existing fields at a later stage of development and identify technological challenges.