Bringing oil to light

Oil companies are often reproached for lacking transparency. This especially concerns companies with foreign participation. That is why companies that designate transparency and efficiency as their priorities are of great value in terms of establishing a healthy business climate.


Last week the PetroKazakhstan company showed to journalists of domestic business media its production and methods of doing business. A minibus with journalists left Kyzylorda early in the morning and headed towards the Kumkol oil field. After a couple of hours spent in the Kyzylorda region’s vast expanses, the steppes started to seem never-ending. And then the driver announced: «Oasis. We have arrived!» The green oasis turned out to be a village with a «Vakhta-40» sign at the entrance. This is the rotational village where employees working at all of the company’s oil fields live. The company’s representatives told us that the first 40 oil industry’s employees arrived to the Kumkol oil field over 20 years ago, that is why the village is called Vakhta-40.  There are about 3,000 specialists currently living in the village. PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources (PKKR, the company’s upstream unit) created all conditions necessary for its employees’ comfort: there is a gym, a medical aid office and a canteen in the rotational village. All of the company’s oil fields are equipped with complex modern equipment. Zhu Fumin, Director of Field Operations, told us that oil pumping units, booster stations and measuring equipment were all located there. The entire system and every process are automatized as the journalists were able to see from the image on the display.

The separation process starts after levels of oil, water and gas contained in the extracted liquid are evaluated in the measuring units. Then, separated fractions are transported via special units. Water is reinjected in order to maintain reservoir pressure while oil goes to the complex treatment and pumping plant and a significant part of it is transported from there to the Shymkent oil refinery.  Associated gas is transported to the central utilization plant. PKKR currently has production capacities that allow it to utilize associated gas by generating electrical power, reinjecting gas and using it for the field’s own needs in order to maintain operation of oil treatment units. PetroKazakhstan was one of the first companies [in Kazakhstan] to launch a gas utilization program and it now utilizes over 95% of gas. Construction works on expansion of the gas turbine station for electrical power production are held in the district. Two turbines will be commissioned before the end of the year and the station’s capacity will increase from the current 55 to 80 MWt/hr. These measures will allow the company to complete works on gas utilization thus fulfilling its commitments.


PKKR’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Fang Jiazhong told “&” that the company expected an increase in oil reserves by 23m tonnes in 2010 as a result of works on new blocks. The company currently produces black gold at 11 oil fields. A total of 37 out of 475 active wells are flowing ones while the rest are operated by using screw pump units. “As you know, oil fields that we operate are rather mature and currently experience a natural decline in production. However, we hope to discover new oil fields and in this way maintain the annual production rate at 3m tonnes until 2015”, he said [PKKR produced 3.1m tonnes of oil in 2009 – “&”].


Thanks to PetroKazakhstan’s commitment to principles of efficiency, social responsibility and transparency, the company is the 4th largest oil and gas company in the country and was awarded the prestigious Golden Prometheus by the KazEnergy Association in 2009. You will find more details about the company’s business principles in the upcoming issues of «&».


/Assel Maratova/

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