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Kazakhstan must find new oil and gas fields: Senator

19 december 2014, 17:39
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©REUTERS
©REUTERS

Kazakh Senator Lyazzat Kiinov has spoken about the diminishing oil and gas reserves of Kazakhstan and proposed allocating 1.5 to 2 billion tenge from the 2015 state budget for exploration of new fields, Tengrinews reports.

Kiiynov said that the resources Kazakhstan had been availing on were discovered back in the Soviet days. During the Independence (after 1991) the country hadn’t made any significant discoveries, and this would bring forth serious consequences for the country in the next 5-10 years should it not act swiftly.

“As you understand, economy can develop only if the industry is also developing. In turn, our industry can develop only in the presence of raw materials. It is no secret that to this day we have enjoyed the mineral resources that have been discovered in the Soviet period. Today, all those fields are in their late stage of development and are nearing depletion. Yet there are no new ones,” he said.

“The Tengiz and Karachaganak oil and gas fields were discovered in the last years of the Soviet Union. And Kashagan field was discovered (in 2000) and named by Mangishlak-Neft (a Kazakh oil company) rather than Western companies as is believed by many," Kiinov said.

He stressed that any developed nation had to always search for new fields to provide itself with resources for 30 years ahead.

He insisted that the exploration activities had to be reserved for public and private companies of Kazakhstan only, and foreign investors could be invited only at later stages to participate in development of those fields. He called this approach correct and beneficial for Kazakhstan. 

The senator pointed out that Kazakhstan was unable to supply 16 million tons needed for its refineries even though it was producing 82 million tons of crude a year. Three oil refineries were being modernised and after the reconstruction they would require even more oil - 19-19.5 million tons of crude oil a year making the issue of domestic supplies and refining even more acute.

"Why is this happening? Because large Western companies do not want to supply domestic refineries with oil at (low) domestic prices, they want to sell their crude at world prices. If we buy oil at world prices to supply our factories, then AI-95, AI-96 gasoline will cost 1.3 or 1.5 euro per liter or 350-370 tenge per liter. Compare this to the current prices [of 115-130 tenge per liter],” Kiiynov explained.

“Therefore, under these conditions in place, no matter how hard it is, we need to continue financing exploration, because it will enable us to dramatically boost our economy after the crisis and hard times pass. But this will be possible only if we resolve the issues of supplying our industry with the mineral resource base," he said.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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