TOTAL in Kazakhstan: 20 Years of Partnership
Brendan McMahon, Managing Director of TOTAL E&P Kazakhstan
Due to its abundant energy potential, the Republic of Kazakhstan is an important player in the global and regional energy markets. Thanks to the economic reforms conducted by the Head of the State Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the country has made remarkable progress since its Independence.
This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our operations in Kazakhstan that became possible thanks to a sustainable political and economic environment. We are proud to develop an excellent relationship and become a strategic investor in RoK and look forward for possibilities to extend our activities in Kazakhstan.
TOTAL is one of the world leaders in Oil and Gas. TOTAL E&P Kazakhstan holds 16.81% and plays a major role in the North Caspian Project, which includes the giant Kashagan field, as well as other structures. TOTAL brings its high level technological expertise to contribute to what is one of the most challenging projects in the world. After the years of technological challenges, massive construction and investment the first oil from the Kashagan field began producing on September 11, 2013, marking an important milestone for TOTAL as well as for the RoK and the other partners, including KMG. This great achievement will contribute to the prosperity of the RoK for many years to come.
Another major step forward was made by TOTAL with the recent acquisition of interest in two exploration blocks (North and South Nurmunai) in the South of Aktobe oblast. As a new operator of these blocks TOTAL E&P Nurmunai is currently undertaking an extensive seismic survey, which will be followed by a drilling programme from 2014.
We also continue to strengthen and foster our partnership with the National Company KazMunayGas with whom we are actively working on possible joint exploration projects.
Among the core values for the TOTAL Group, a top priority is to ensure industrially and environmentally safe operations at all times. For TOTAL, safety is more than a need; it is a value. TOTAL Group also implies very rigorous policies in terms of ethics and sustainable development. TOTAL E&P Kazakhstan adheres entirely to these group values and policies.
Besides oil and gas projects, outstanding results have been achieved in sustainable and local content development.
Thanks to the initiative and support of TOTAL, Kazakhstan became the 55th full-fledged member of the International Institute of Welding and created an independent welding association KazWeld. Last April, together with the Karaganda State Technical University, TOTAL launched a training course “International welder-engineer”. Having done this, a full training cycle for all levels of international welders has been implemented in RoK. The membership of the International Institute of Welding will ensure the transfer of new technologies and the highest technical expertise in welding. This project will significantly help Kazakhstan and its industries, including oil & gas, to satisfy the demand for a highly qualified workforce and expand local employment opportunities.
TOTAL E&P Kazakhstan continue to strengthen its research cooperation with Higher Tertiary institutions like the Nazarbayev University, the Kazakh-British Technical University, and the Academy of Public Administration under the RoK President through implementation of various educational programs. TOTAL is also actively supporting a Solar Energy initiative in collaboration with NURIS (Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System). In anticipation of the exhibition Astana Expo-2017, such “Green” industries represent interesting perspectives both for Kazakhstan and TOTAL.
Being an international player as well as the largest company in France, TOTAL actively promotes close business and cultural relations between Kazakhstan and France.
On a business side, TOTAL drives collaborative efforts through leadership on Kazakh-French Business Council, participation in the Foreign Investors’ Council, KazEnergy Association, and Kazakhstan Petroleum Association.
On the cultural side, TOTAL has supported many cultural events, concerts, art exhibitions, and festivals in Kazakhstan and France. In 2013, the Year of France in Kazakhstan, TOTAL stepped in as the general sponsor of the Cross Cultural Seasons of Kazakhstan and France 2013–2014. With support of TOTAL, audiences in Astana and Almaty enjoyed the magnificent performance of the National Orchestra of Lille starring violin virtuoso Mrs. Alena Baeva, and performance of Ballet group directed by Angelin Preljocaj, Master of contemporary dance.
TOTAL E&P Kazakhstan is also proud to be a partner of the Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs. With our support this year Astana hosted a major UNESCO International Forum on Global Ethics. TOTAL will continue providing focused support to children clubs, disabled societies, and sport activities as an important part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program.
To conclude, the year of 2013 was a very productive year for TOTAL in Kazakhstan. Major developments in oil & gas projects, outstanding achievements in local content, education and corporate social responsibility areas, increasing momentum in cross cultural ties between Kazakhstan and France give the strongest belief that our true partnership with RoK will prosper for many years to come.