Success Stories

In their own words

Around 4 000 employees make up the KPO team.  We believe that our diverse backgrounds, talents and experiences increase our competitiveness and enrich our corporate culture.

Get an insight and opinion of what life inside KPO is really like.

Click on a profile below and get an individual perspective on what it's like to work here.

Ardak Mukhambetov

Ardak Mukhambetov: ‘Internal communications is the key to effective performance’

Field Petroleum Engineering Section Head

1. Why do you work in KPO?

I have been working at the Karachaganak field since 1994. After graduation from the Kazakh National Technical University named after K.I. Satpayev with a degree in “Development and exploitation of oil and gas fields”, I was employed to the position of Process Operator in Unit 3. I found myself in the environment of the infinite possibilities to acquire knowledge and skills, improve own skills, to adopt experience from specialists, and at the same time to be a part of a team developing the Karachaganak Project. My 20 years in the company have been fruitful and interesting. I am happy that all these years I have been doing my thing. My professional background and knowledge allow me to coach new employees; and my desire to improve and to learn more helps me in daily work.

2. Where do you fit in the organisation?

I have started to work in the Karachaganak Field as an Operator, and then I was transferred to the position of Foreman, later I was appointed as Production and Well Optimisation Supervisor. In 2000 I asked to be transferred to the position of Petroleum Engineer in the department of Reservoir and Petroleum Engineering, and in 2005 I was appointed as Field Petroleum Engineering Section Head.
The process performed by my team involves all the Company’s operational departments. In reality, every day we take important decisions that affect the operations. I consider the role of communications to be very important in our team, because it is essential for our work. It is important to remember in our job that hiding of information can fraught with serious consequences. Constructive professional relationships always have a positive impact on performance.

3. What skills and knowledge do you need to undertake your role?

I think that in many ways the key to success is the knowledge of the English language and the ability to communicate professionally. Karachaganak field attracts the best international experts in oil&gas; and there are plenty of opportunities to practice English. When I got a job, I decided to improve my knowledge and learned the English by myself. Besides, to be able to work in the Reservoir and Petroleum Engineering Department it is necessary to know the production process. Our main objective is to ensure safe production of gas and condensate by providing proficient and well-timed well services. Safety for us always comes first. I believe that good technical education, decent work experience in the oil and gas industry, as well as teamwork and ability to lead people are the master set of skills important for me at work.

4. What has been your best experience in your time at KPO?

I have gained the most valuable experience while working as a Petroleum Engineer during five years in the department of Reservoir and Petroleum Engineering. It was not easy, but I have learned a lot in this position. At those times Steve Blackwell, Well Servicing Supervisor, was a good example for me. Steve shared with me his professional experience, and set an example of a leader with high responsibility. He could always find the right approach to people. As for the development of management skills, the Management for Supervisors training programme, which I had attended in 2005-2006, was very useful for me.

5. What is your work environment like?

Our work environment is really positive; the group operates as one team. Every team member will always support each other, and give professional advice. There are many opportunities for career growth in our company. The primary conditions are to work hard, continuously improve professional skills and be engaged in self-development, persevere in achieving business targets, and be responsible for the performed work.

6. Has KPO met your expectations?

I am safe to say that KPO fully meets my expectations. Financially, the company is quite stable and the benefits provided are attractive not only for Kazakhstani employees. In addition, all the necessary work conditions are put in place for the employees.

Klara Pykhanova

Klara Pykhanova, Production Support Manager, Production and Maintenance department

1. Klara, how did you come to the Company?

At the time of my study in the State Academy of Oil&Gas named after Gubkin in Moscow, I had the internship at the Environmental laboratory in the JSC KarachaganakGazProm . After my graduation in 1996, I came back to Karachaganak when KPO was only starting to form as a company. It would be possible to say that I joined the company at the very beginning.

2. What is your career story?

I have started my career from the position of laboratory technician and gradually made my professional path to the position of Production Support Manager.

3. What knowledge and practical skills do you need to perform your job successfully?

The job of the manager assumes such important things as wider knowledge of the processes, responsibility for the staff and taken decisions.

4. What issues do you face in performing your job? How do you approach them?

Due to specifics of our Company in our day-to-day work we face multiple issues and tasks, as for example, complex assessment of all stages of the process held in the units, including the personnel competency assessment, products’ quality control and generated wastes utilization that requires a more complex approach towards work and knowledge of the new standards.

5. What experience gained while working at KPO you regard as most valuable?

While working at KPO I have gained vast experience in many areas, not being limited only by professional sphere. Collaboration with people of different nationalities and cultures, people management, solving various administrative issues, setting and achieving targets — all these became my rewarding background having worked on managerial positions. In addition, in KPO I had an opportunity to complete “Management for supervisors” programme and other courses of personal and professional development.

6. Did you have a coach in KPO? Who was the example for you?

I often recall Paolo Campelli, the KPO’s General Director in 2003-2006. Having his first degree in chemistry, he always paid attention to the work of Chemical Laboratory and supported us when issues arisen. Not only Paolo was highly professional, but also a self-possessed, easy to communicate to and sympathetic person despite his high workload. Such personal characteristics are very important for team motivational spirit. He was a bright example for me.

Another example that comes to my mind is Sarah Frost. Sarah was my manager. It is not an easy task for a woman to manage the production department with predominantly male staff. You must possess certain managing skills and sharp mind to gain respect and recognition of your management and colleagues. Sarah was a great example of a strong-minded and at the same time tactful and competent business woman. I am very grateful to her for the offered opportunity to participate in the BG Operation Conference and represent KPO in 2006.

7. In your opinion, what is a secret of successful career in KPO?

I think that the secret is simple — self-discipline, hard work and continuous professional development. Such features as leadership, communication and organizational skills and high professional competency help me in my everyday job. I believe that it is important to always stay humane regardless of the position you hold. As for successful people management, I would advise to be unbiassed with all team members and preserve discipline.

Erzhan Kanatov

Erzhan Kanatov: ‘You can learn everywhere’ / ‘Learning is everywhere’

Manager of Unit 3 and Karachaganak Orenburg Transportation System

1. Why do you work in KPO? / Why KPO?

To begin I would like to say that choosing my future profession I have been motivated by my favourite school subject — chemistry. As a resident of our region, I knew that the development of the Karachaganak field provides excellent opportunities of employment and professional development. In the South-Kazakhstan Technical University I went in for “Chemical technology of organic substances”, and once graduated in 1996, returned home to apply the acquired knowledge to gain work experience in the Karachaganak field. I started my career in “KazakhGazProm”, which was later reorganized into JSC “KarachaganakGazProm.” After the formal foundation of KPO as a company in 1998, I was appointed to the position of a Process Operator at the Unit 3 within the 600 personnel transferred from JSC “KarachaganakGazProm” to KPO in January 1999. .

After 18 years, I am safe to say that I like working here. First of all, I work by profession and I am fond of it. Second, this is my homeland, my family is here, and my three daughters are growing here. And third, Karachaganak is a unique field. At different production facilities, such as Unit 2, Unit 3, KPC, and gathering system we have great opportunities to obtain unique experience and deepen our professional knowledge.

2. Where do you fit in the organisation?

I have started as an Operator, than I worked as a Gas Process Foreman, production Control Room Supervisor, Unit 3 Plant Superintendent. In 2006 I was appointed as Deputy Manager of Unit 3, and after as Deputy Manager of Unit 2, in 2010 I was transferred to a position of acting Unit 3 Manager, and in 2011 appointed as a Manager of Unit 3 and Karachaganak Orenburg Transportation System. Since 1996, I’ve come a long way from the Operator to the Plant Manager, during this time I have gained a lot of experience in the oil and gas industry. My team comprise of273 professionals, a close-knit and friendly team, and each of us is responsible for the performed work.

3. What skills and knowledge do you need to undertake your role?

Unit 3 was constructed 30 years ago. This is the first gas and condensate production facility in our field, and consequently — the oldest among all other facilities at Karachaganak. As with any facility, our main goal is a safe production of gas and condensate. Safety for us is always first.

To work in the Production and Maintenance department it is necessary to know the process. There are 273 employees working in Unit 3 and KOTS. For me, as the Manager, planning is the key to success. We conduct our daily plans, discuss them, and make adjustments. This is especially important during planned maintenance when we stop the unit for shut-down activities. In 2013, the shutdown was carried out in eight days, which was preceded with huge planning work.

I believe that qualitative technical background, extensive knowledge and practical experience in oil and gas industry, coupled with good managerial and organizational skills are the main professional requirements for my current position. In addition, you have to be flexible and be able to adapt to the changing working environment. No worth to be afraid of changes; always learn something new.

4. What has been your best experience in your time at KPO?

The most valuable experience I have gained while I was working as Deputy Manager at Unit-3 and Unit 2. In that time, our leaders used to dedicate a lot of their time to our professional development, regularly coached and guided us.

As I have mentioned before, at the Unit 3 safety for us always comes first! In the period of 2011-2013 no any lost time incident took place in our facility. In 2013, the Unit 3 and KOTS teams have received gratitude and recognition of the outstanding safety performance from BG Group.<br/>

5. What is your work environment like?

The work of all departments in our company is interconnected. Support departments have been created to provide essential assistance to the operational departments. As for the Unit 3, all newcomers receive support from the experienced colleagues, they have opportunities to learn from them, adopt their practices and experience. There are opportunities for career growth too. Our company issues recognition to those employees, who work hard, continuously improve their professional skills and are engaged in self-development.

6. Has KPO met your expectations?

KPO has been meeting my expectations. I had no doubt that the work would be interesting and dynamic, and I was not disappointed. KPO provides employees with infinite opportunities for professional and personal development. We always need to learn something new and pass on our skills to employees. I support the program of internal rotation for national staff in our company, and I think it’s an example of good business practice.

Konstantin Shtoda

Konstantin Shtoda, Senior Field Production Engineer

1. Konstantin, how did you come to the company?

Born in Aksai, I have started to work during my summer internship in the Karachaganak Wells Drilling Division (now KazBurGaz) being a pupil of the Aksai secondary school # 1. At that time there was no international consortium here. As I was always interested in subjects related to oil&gas industry, it was natural for me to enter the Academy of Oil & Gas under the name of Gubkin in Moscow to the course of Oil & Gas fields’ development and operation. Once graduated in 1997, I came back to Aksai and started to work in the Karachaganak Field.

2. What’s your career story?

I started from the basics of oil&gas business being employed to the position of Operator. Overall, I think it is important for a young specialist to begin from the very basics as this allows a more complex understanding of the whole process. Having acquired primary experience after several years of working as Operator and Senior Operator at the Unit-3 Main Pumping Station, I was sent for a study on the Supervisors Management Programme in Edinburg (Scotland). There I had an opportunity to develop and improve my communication, managerial and technical skills. After the programme completion I was assigned to the position of Control Room Lead Operator in the Karachaganak Processing Complex, and after that continued my work as Production Engineer. Now I hold a position of Senior Field Production Engineer.

3. What knowledge and practical skills do you need to perform your job successfully?

While successful implementation of the engineering job requires knowledge of technologies and processes from the basic concepts to complex ideas, the job of Senior Production Engineer also requires continuous communication with the subordinate staff, specialists from various departments, contractors, representatives of Parent Companies’, the government bodies, where communication and organizational skills play an important role. To perform this job successfully, one would need a whole set of skills and expertise. 

4. Who was the example for you in KPO?

I can say that I was lucky to have experienced the sharing of knowledge and skills by my senior colleagues. As high professionals, they played an important role in development of my practical knowledge and skills. They were — Sergey Moroz, Sergey Vykhodets, Tlegen Lukpanov, Maxut Lukpanov, Bakhytzhan Abitov. My foreign colleagues — Simon Coley, Nino Gardella and Peter Hill have influenced me as an engineer and have been providing their continuous support. In my turn, I have to say that I like sharing my knowledge and experience with young specialists and students, who undertake internship in our department. I believe that sharing of experience is a two-way process: we help raising somebody’s professional level, and at the same time we learn ourselves.

5. What experience you gained working at KPO you regard as most valuable?

KPO offers good opportunities for professional and personal development by providing a wide range of training courses. Young specialists at the beginning of their career will find here a good base for obtaining experience and enhancing their level of proficiency. Work in KPO enabled me obtaining a valuable experience thanks to uniqueness of the Karachaganak Field and multinational work environment. 

6. In your opinion, what is a strong side of your personality?

Accountability, which is reflected in approach to work, to the taken decisions and for my staff. In addition, it is open-mindedness, and striving for continuous professional development and improvement. These are the traits of my personality that help me in my job.