Kazakhstan Energy Week examines latest trends, future of energy sector

NUR-SULTAN – International energy corporations heads will discuss how global market trends will affect the energy sector during approximately 20 events to be held as part of the Kazakhstan Energy Week (KEW) on Sept. 23-27 in Nur-Sultan.

The main event will be the 12th KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum. For the last 11 years, the KAZENERGY Association has been organising the KAZENERGY Forum in the Kazakh capital to discuss global and regional energy sector challenges.

The Association changed the long tradition of scattered energy forums to a single energy week in 2019. The previous forums were autonomous and fragmented throughout Kazakhstan in cities and regions. Market participants have had limited opportunities “for obtaining a complete picture of the current state and future of energy” and hence, they have had no “opportunity to build a constructive dialogue in the ‘government-business’ format, receiving online answers to all questions,” KAZENERGY Director General Bolat Akchulakov told The Astana Times.

Bolat Akchulakov

In addition, the KAZENERGY Forum will host roundtables on environmental and digital solutions for sustainable energy, the use of innovations to produce clean coal, as well as on exploration safety issues in the oil and gas, oil refining, petrochemical and mining industries in Kazakhstan and the Eurasian Economic Community countries.

The DIGITAL ENERGY exhibition will display the results of the latest technological developments in the energy sector.

Another major event will be the presentation of the fourth KAZENERGY National Energy Report and the Energy Investment Risk Assessment (EIRA).

KEW also includes the 23rd session of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Intergovernmental Council on Subsoil Exploration, Use and Protection; the third International Renewable Energy Summit; the sixth Downstream Caspian and Central Asia International Conference; the 10th National Conference on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI); the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Symposium on Caspian Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility and the fourth Forum of KAZENERGY Women’s Energy Club, among others.

The 11th KAZENERGY Youth Forum will be “the real decoration of KEW,” Akchulakov said. The forum will bring experts and participants together to “answer key questions in the ‘face to face’ format.”

The forum will address the questions about vital skills and new qualifications with the emergence of big data and new technologies.

In addition, there will be the semi-finals and finals of the Student Energy Challenge intellectual team competition. The competition has been organised in partnership with Shell for three years.

“To be successful in the new time and digital space, we must get the right education, the right tools. Here, young people come to the fore, and our common success in the future depends on them,” he said.

KAZENERGY closely cooperates with Kazakhstan’s technical universities, such as the Kazakh-British Technical University and Nazarbayev University, which use modern teaching tools in preparing students for the energy sector.

More than 2,500 delegates from over 300 companies representing approximately 50 countries take part in the KAZENERGY Forums annually.

In addition to the week, KAZENERGY, Business Media Group and Chevron will organise the first training for Kazakh journalists about the peculiarities of oil and gas coverage.

The Energy Week also celebrates Kazakhstan’s 120th anniversary in oil production.

“This is an important event in the oil and gas industry of the country, demonstrating the power and potential of Kazakhstan in the field of fuel development,” he said. “We hope that it will not only expand the boundaries of discussions, but also attract many specialists and industry experts from Kazakhstan and abroad.”

Among the guests of the KAZENERGY Forum in the plenary session are Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo, former President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, as well as Energy Ministers of Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.

The interactive discussion about the oil future and panel sessions will be attended by the heads of KazMunayGas, Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), Libya’s National Oil Corporation and the Secretary General of Energy Charter Secretariat, among others.

“World energy trends currently dictate conditions for the development of Kazakhstan’s industry. Now the demand for energy around the world is only growing. It is expected that this trend will continue in the coming decades, and, if it is necessary to develop renewable energy, the focus will continue to be placed on traditional energy sources – oil and gas,” said Akchulakov.

As the demand in energy continues to increase, the world needs to create a stable supply to consumers.

According to Akchulakov, “Kazakhstan, which has sufficient reserves of hydrocarbon resources, is considered as a reliable and long-term supplier of raw materials. Today, we are implementing projects related to the growth of hydrocarbon production.”

These are the projects in the large fields of Kashagan, Tengiz and Karachaganak, which will allow Kazakhstan to produce approximately 110 million tonnes of oil per year.

“This oil needs to be sold somewhere. Together, with our international partners, we are considering the possibility of increasing the export capacity of the Caspian pipeline consortium system, as well as expanding the supply of crude oil through the Black Sea and the port in Eastern Europe owned by National Company KazMunayGas. In addition, we continue to maintain strong ties for the supply of our energy resources in the Eastern direction,” he said.

“As for the formation of the global value of a barrel, you know that, thanks to the measures of the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and OPEC+ countries, a new price benchmark has been set in recent years for the near future. The conjuncture scenario depends on the coordination of actions of all major market participants. Kazakhstan does not ask for exceptions in terms of reduced oil production and is ready to reduce production in the framework of the announced deal,” he added.

On top of it, “the future development of energy is already determined by the ‘digital demand’,” he said.

Kazakhstan is in the midst of its Digital Kazakhstan state programme and is working on the transition to more environmentally friendly energy sources. The country has adopted the Concept on Transition towards Green Economy, ratified the Paris Agreement, initiated and implemented the Green Bridge Partnership Programme and opened the International Green Technologies & Investments Centre.

Kazakhstan has also gained the right to hold the World Energy Week in 2021 in Nur-Sultan at the Executive Assembly of the World Energy Council held on Sept. 8.

“This is a landmark event for our industry because the World Energy Council is the authoritative largest energy international non-governmental organisation established in 1923. The WEC consists of more than 90 national committees representing more than 3,000 organisations, including public authorities, industry and expert organisations.”

This is “the recognition by the world community of the achievements of our country in the energy sector and the efforts that Kazakhstan is making in achieving global energy goals.”