By Zulfiya Bainekeeva
On September 30 in the evening the Forum of interregional cooperation concluded its work. The short plenary session on the subject “Innovative technologies for oil and gas sector” was held within the framework of the protocol.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived with a big delegation consisting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the heads of another four Ministries, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Kazakhstan Sergey Donskoy, the Presidents of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan Rustam Minnikhanov and Rustem Khamitov, the Governors of 9 regions, the first heads of the largest oil and industrial companies, etc. From the Kazakhstan side there were Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrisov, the first Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the Assistant to the President on International Issues Nurlan Onzhanov, the Adviser to the President Magzhan Ilyasov, the Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund Umirzak Shukeev, the Chairman of the Board of KazMunaiGas Oil Company Sauat Mynbayev, the Chairman of Presidium of National Chamber of Businessmen Timur Kulibayev, the Chairman of the Board of Kazakhmys Corporation Eduard Ogay, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation Marat Tazhin, the heads of three more Ministries, the Governors of 10 oblasts, etc.
“WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF BEING COMMODITY-BASED”
Nazarbayev in his welcoming speech called the innovations in the hydrocarbon sphere as critically important:
- The share of oil and gas industry in GDP of our country is 22 percent. As for oil reserves, we are on the 12th place in the world and that equal to more than 4 billion tons. Therefore it is important to know the defining trends in the world and our place in them. Since last year the balance of oil consumption increased. The main demand comes from China where the consumption level in the last 30 years increased six times. Soon the whole world, including our countries, will face the problem of depletion of easily extracted oil. Now the production indicators of difficult oil resources make 1 percent, though the stocks are considerable there. The last trend in this production is the development of slate fields. The North America has greatly succeeded in that. They increased the production of slate from 5 percent in 2007 up to 40.
Now the hydrocarbon sphere requires introduction of innovative technologies. For us this is a topical issue in the Caspian Depression zone that promotes big interest of the world companies. Russia can also become a partner. We could expand the services sector. These are high-tech services, logistics and many other things. Our joint ventures can become an effective tool. We need new cadres. It is necessary to intensify cooperation, to increase an exchange of students between our countries in the oil and gas industry. Otherwise it is impossible to make a big breakthrough. It is possible to carry out a new geological exploration. For example, in Kazakhstan we are working on Eurasia project. This is geostudying, an assessment of resources.
The President finished his confident speech with the offer to get down to the development of alternative types of production:
- Our institutes could be engaged in the development of slate oil production, of alternative power engineering and many others. In the hydrocarbon sphere it is possible to make an essential breakthrough.
It is remarkable that during the meeting he unexpectedly returned to this issue, but commented on it in a different angle:
- I personally don't believe in alternative energy and slate euphoria. We shouldn’t be afraid of being commodity-based. Thanks God that we have raw materials. We need to use it and build a new industry.
Putin also greeted the participants of the Forum:
- The first forum took place in 2003 in Omsk. During these years our bilateral commodity turnover grew six times, up to 26 billion dollars last year. The volume of direct investments into the economy of Kazakhstan increased 10 times. We have inter-economic relations with all regions and created 11 thousand joint ventures.
Russia and Kazakhstan have many joint projects in the fuel and energy sphere. The number of operational projects will increase. This will accelerate an exchange of innovative technologies.
At the end of his speech Putin thanked Nazarbayev for the contribution to collaborative work.
WHAT WERE PRESIDENTS WHISPERING ABOUT?
Nazarbayev handed over further moderation of plenary session to Sagintayev, the first Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. All scheduled speakers made their presentations. Meanwhile Nazarbayev and Putin discussed something whispering into each other’s ears.
The last speaker the President of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov concluded his speech with the proposal to hold the next 12th Forum of interregional cooperation in Ufa.
- We accept it with gratitude,- said Nazarbayev. Please keep in mind that the Governor of Atyrau Oblast Izmuhambetov built this palace and exhibition complex in 8 months.
- Well, he is the alumni of the Ufa University!- parried Khamitov.
The President of Kazakhstan thanked all the participants of the Forum for fruitful work and put a period to the meeting:
- That's it, let’s go and sign the documents.
After the meeting a number of bilateral documents were signed. In the presence of the heads of states there were signed five cooperation agreements of various character, including the one about the construction of NPP on the territory of Kazakhstan. In “Saltanat Saraiy” - new palace building, in total there were signed 15 Agreements and Memorandums between various departments of both countries and regions.
Photos by Kanat Eleuov