Foreign Investors’ Council Meeting Focuses on Investment Attractiveness of Kazakh Hydrocarbon Sector

NUR-SULTAN – The Foreign Investors’ Council held a working meeting on March 3 with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the heads of oil and gas companies operating in Kazakhstan, reported the Akorda press service. The meeting sought ways to increase the investment attractiveness of the country’s oil and gas sector 

During the meeting. Photo credit: Akorda press service

The council’s meeting was attended by Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, Chevron Executive Vice President for Production James Johnson, CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) Vice President Huang Yong Zhang, Eni Upstream Director Guido Brusco, ExxonMobil Global Projects President Neil Duffin, Total E&P Vice President for Caspian and Southern Europe Christine Healey.

For Kazakhstan, a country possessing abundant oil and gas reserves, the industry plays a vital role, said Tokayev, noting it offers promising opportunities due to a steady recovery in global trade and economy. 

“Therefore, we need to make use of these positive dynamics and identify next steps in enhancing the long-term investment attractiveness of the industry,” said Tokayev. 

President Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda press service

At the last meeting in November 2020, Tokayev said the industry would have to adapt to new realities given the lowering demand for oil and declining investment attractiveness. 

Reviewing the work done after the meeting in November, Tokayev noted that progress was made but raised a set of issues that needed to be addressed moving forward. 

He stressed the importance of timely implementation of agreements concerning large oil and gas projects at the country’s Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan fields. 

“Despite the pandemic, the Tengiz Future Growth Project is on schedule. The final investment decision on the Karachaganak expansion project is another example of coordinated work. At the moment we are waiting for the adoption of a full-scale development plan for Kashagan,” said Tokayev.

The government should consider different approaches to each project and review those currently in place.

“Because all projects have their particularities related to geology, remoteness from markets, types of oil, we need to avoid a one size fits all approach. The government should categorise projects in terms of their complexity and importance, and determine the instruments of regulation and support accordingly,” said Tokayev. 

The country needs a modern and flexible mechanism of investment regulation in hydrocarbon deep processing.  

Tokayev said Kazakhstan needs “new and bold steps” in creating in-country value, stimulating domestic technological, and industrial development instructing the government and the companies to prepare a road map for the transfer of technologies and local content. 

Environment issues should receive more attention from the companies, said Tokayev. He urged the companies to take practical measures to minimise adverse environmental consequences. 

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