ASTANA – The first international forum on oil and gas exploration titled, “Kazakhstan Geology Forum: Oil & Gas in Focus,” took place in Astana’s Rixos Hotel on March 12-13 with the support of the Ministry of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
“Since independence, the theme of oil and gas geology has been discussed at such a high level with the involvement of well-known geologists, geophysicists, specialists, organisers of the prospecting business, scientists, as well as representatives of foreign oil and gas companies and government agencies for the first time,” President of Kazakhstan Society of Oil Industry Workers and Geologists Baltabek Kuandykov told the forum.
Minister of Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev who took part in the plenary session on the resource potential of mineral resources of Kazakhstan, its status, problems, innovative vector of development and real prospects, announced that “In 2015, 3.26 billion tenge (US $17.6 million) from the national budget and the National Fund will be used to finance new regional exploration works on oil and gas. In particular, two geophysical surveys and the drilling of two support parametric wells. The state will be financingthe study of less explored areas, where it’s currently problematic to attract investors.”
According to Issekeshev, despite the optimization of budget programmes in several areas, oil exploration is one of the few industries for which the state allocated more money than last year.
“In general, we are currently developing new approaches. The last two to three years were great for the development of exploration. A special programme has been developed. This year, through our geology committee, we will provide a digital map that will include information on oil and gas sites. By the end of 2015, this interactive map will be able to provide any information without the need to request,” said Issekeshev.
Also during the forum, First Deputy Minister of Energy Uzakbai Karabalin said that Kazakhstan together with an international consortium will start the realisation of “Eurasia,” the largest oil project in the Caspian Basin worth $500 million.
According to him, much of the oil in Kazakhstan is extracted mainly in the fields of the Caspian depression, where up to 75-80 percent of hydrocarbon resources of the country are concentrated. A reduction in the production at major sites, such as Tengiz and Karachaganak is expected in 15 to 20 years, but exploration of resources in deep horizons can compensate for this trend.
The forum programme covered the development of the resource potential of Kazakhstan subsurface geophysical technology, the field of research, development of marine areas, scientific research and questions of financing of exploration work, training and retraining.
Specific topics of discussion included attracting investments in exploration, improving the legal framework, developing high and hard deposits of oil, associated gas utilisation and the introduction of innovative methods and technologies in the oil and gas industry for the study of deep oil and gas reserves.
Among the guests of the forum were Chairman of the Board of KazMunayGas Sauat Mynbayev, Chairman of theCommittee on Geology and Mineral Resources of the Ministry of Investment and Development Bazarbai Nurabayev, Chief Executive Officer of the KAZENERGY Association Asset Magauov and Chief Geologist of Rosgeologiya Alexey Soloviyev.
The event was attended by about 300 specialists from the oil and gas industry, as well as representatives of more than 70 companies from Kazakhstan, Canada, the Netherlands, Russia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, France, U.K. and Germany.