Kazakhstan Says no to Green Energy
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Oil-rich Kazakhstan has ruled out adopting alternative energy methods for now saying
that it will continue to exploit its vast natural resources for economical reasons.
Speaking to reporters after the VII KazEnergy Eurasian Forum, the chief of KAZENERGY
Association, Timur Kulibayev said that the country was aiming to meet 10% of its energy
demand through alternative energy.
“It’s very fashionable these days to talk about alternative energy,” Kulibayev said
adding that “We would look for alternative energy once its cost of production becomes
lower and feasible.”
A news release issued by KAZENERGY said that Kazakhstan’s 80% of power generation is
generated by coal. The nation is home to one of the largest coal reserves the world. The
second largest oil producer in the CIS after Russia is looking at immediate financial
goals than long term environment goals.
The landlocked nation’s topography and terrain is perfect to become a major producer
of wind and solar energy but Kulibayev said the country would wait for this sector
becoming more financially affordable. It not only has gorges acting as wind tunnels but
the southeast part of country also gets over 300 sunny days in a year.
Kulibayev is at the forefront of the development of oil and energy sector of the
central Asian nation since last over 15 years.
His statement was a boon for the foreign investors that are lining up to pump money in
the oil, gas and coal sector.
The two-day annual event attracted over 900 delegates including political leaders,
diplomats, oil and gas industry leaders and chief executives of leading petroleum
companies from across the world. The World Petroleum Council also held its three-day
meet on the sidelines of the forum.
Kazakh government officials also said they will not be able to supply any extra oil to
its giant neighbor China in case there is a conflict in the Persian Gulf that may lead to
fall in the global oil supply. India and China will be badly affected by oil supplies if
there is any conflict in the Persian Gulf.
Vice-Minister for oil and gas, Berik Tolumbayev said that Kazakhstan cannot be China’s
main oil supplier let alone be sole supplier. He said that a large number of Chinese
companies have recently set up their offices in the country and Chinese investment is very
important for Kazakhstan however, the supply lines to China were choked to its peak
Kulibayev added that the supply to China can only be increased from 10 million tonnes
of crude oil a year to 20 million tonnes once the pipeline to China is upgraded. He said
the government was currently focussed in gasification of all the major cities and small
Kazakhstan’s current production is dominated by two giant fields: Tengiz and
Karachaganak, which produce about half of Kazakhstan’s total output of over 1.6 million
barrels per day.
Kulibayev attributed the success of oil production to the conducive climate for
foreign investment in oil and gas sector. “Foreign investors find it safe to invest money
in our country because they can repatriate money in any currency at anytime as the
national currency Tenge is fully convertible.”
Kulibayev was upbeat about the upcoming inauguration of production at Kashagan oil
field, which was discovered in 2000 and is described as the world’s largest every
discovery of a field in the last 30 years.
The field is currently being developed by a group of partners including Shell, Exxon
Mobil, Total, ConocoPhillips, Kazakh state-run oil company KazMunaiGas, INPEX and Eni. Eni
is responsible for phase I of the field’s development, while Shell is responsible for
production operations. The total cost of project is not yet clear due to uncertainty about
financial requirements of the second phase whereas the phase one will cost $46 billion.
Meanwhile, the World Petroleum Council also held its three-day meet on the sidelines
of the forum.
The World Petroleum Council President Roberto Bartini said that more than 20 trillion
dollars would be invested in the oil and gas industry field in the next two decades.
According to International Energy Association, another $38 trillion would be required
for the development of infrastructure for the future needs of energy by 2035. IEA official
Ulrich Benterbusch said the dependence of oil for energy needs would reduce to 27 from
percent from the current 35% in the next few years.
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