ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Oct. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - 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
ofKAZENERGY 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 intheCISafter 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 saidthe countrywould wait
for this sector becomingmore financiallyaffordable. It not only has gorges
acting as wind tunnels but the southeast part of country also gets over 300
sunny days in a year.
Kulibayevisat 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
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 capacity.
Kulibayev added that the supply to China can only be increased from 10 million
tonnes of crude oil a year to20million tonnes once the pipeline to China
is upgraded. He said the government was currently focussed in gasification of
all the major cities and small towns.
Kazakhstan'scurrent 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
theworld'slargest 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 andEni. Eni is responsible for phase I of the field's development,
while Shell is responsible for production operations. The total cost of
project isnot yet clear due to uncertainty about financial requirements of
the second phasewhereas 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
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