We have been here since 2000 when we entered the Saigak field, and then in 2002 we entered the Dunga field. In both fields, we have a 60% share and are the operator. Both fields have developed largely to our expectations. However, our biggest rewards are hopefully yet to come.
FIR FOR PURPOSE
Maersk Oil has the size and flexibility that enables it to operate in a “fit for purpose” way on projects of varying size, and maneuver in a flexible way. The larger projects in Kazakhstan are mainly run by the majors, but there are also medium-size projects that are of interest to us. We have the flexibility and the speed to bring these projects on stream quickly.
To us, the biggest potential in Kazakhstan lies in the exploitation of existing discoveries, rather than exploration. The country needs to find the right terms and the right companies to operate here and then support them in developing the vast available resources. And we are certainly one of those companies willing to invest in Kazakhstan given that the terms are supportive.
In 2008 and 2009 we drilled five wells on the Northwest Konys field. We found oil in four of them, and this yielded a maximum combined test rate of 1,200 bbl/d. The consultancy firm McDaniel and Associates confirmed the reserves that we discovered on that field.
The role of smaller players will be of great significance. If you look at the cross section of all the oil companies that are operating in Kazakhstan, you see the need for E&P companies like ours that are investing in exploration and new ideas in Kazakhstan.
Once the Kashagan mega field goes into production, it will change the dimensions of the economy again in terms of how additional income will flow into the budget of the government, and allow it to execute its plans, enabling diversification in terms of investment. Kazakhstan will undergo far-reaching change compared to its peers in the region.
PLACE OF INTEREST
Claw Energy decided to focus on Kazakhstan as a place of interest because of the deal flow, because of the reserve base, and because of the opportunities.
The delays experienced in the sector have hurt the smaller companies more than the big companies. Production delays of six months to a year make life really difficult for smaller companies. Being more responsive to smaller companies would be better for the business climate and create more opportunities in Kazakhstan.
THE WAY FORWARD
With the new Customs Union there should be opportunities available for manufacturing and the development of goods in country. But again, there have to be some incentives to make that happen. Oil field service companies and equipment producers have a lot of opportunities here right now. In relation to services, big companies are fairly well developed, but smaller actors are still stuck using older Soviet-era equipment. Joint ventures can raise the standards of small local service companies working with large oil companies.
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