Business & Economy

Kazakh president discusses investment with major oil companies

Nur-Sultan, Mar 3 (EFE).- Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday presided over a videoconference with major oil company executives on increasing investment in large oilfields in the Central Asian country.

In a statement, the president’s office said Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, Chevron Executive Vice President of Upstream James Johnson, and China National Petroleum Corporation Vice President Huang Yongzhang attended the Foreign Investors Council meeting.

Eni Upstream Director Guido Brusco, ExxonMobil Global Projects President Neil Duffin and Total Vice President Christine Healy also participated.

The Kazakh leader said that the oil and gas industry plays a vital role in Kazakhstan’s development.

He believes that, thanks to a gradual recovery in global trade and economy, his country is “looking forward to the prospects of the oil and gas sector both internationally and domestically,” the statement said.

“Therefore we should take advantage of the positive dynamics and identify additional steps to improve the investment attractiveness of the industry in the long term,” the head of state acknowledged.

Tokayev mentioned some positive developments such as an agreement reached between the government and investors over a billion-dollar dispute in Karachaganak, one of Kazakhstan’s largest oil and gas fields, and the creation of an office to resolve investor problems.

He also mentioned that the future expansion of Tengiz, Kazakhstan’s largest oil field, is going ahead as planned despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The head of state stressed the need for all proposals to increase attractiveness for the sector to ensure legal protection and stability of investments, as well as, if necessary, investment preferences.

“Since all projects have their own specifics related to geology, remoteness of markets, and types of oil, we should avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and the government should classify projects by complexity and importance and determine the instruments of regulation and support accordingly” he said.

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