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KPO continues normal business operations in spite of challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices

Despite the downturn experienced by the global oil and gas industry exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, production facilities of Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. continue operating in strict compliance with all safety requirements and 2020 production targets.

During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis the oil prices went very low and the world markets were in turmoil. Demand is slowly picking up as countries come out of lock-down, however a large amount of oil went into storage during the early months of the crisis and this stored oil may keep a damper on prices for a while.

According to KPO General Director Edwin Blom, “KPO expects to fulfil its obligations to produce liquid hydrocarbons and gas under the approved 2020 Annual Work Program and Budget. While handling the risks of the coronavirus, KPO is also preparing itself to ensure profitability in a range of oil price scenarios.

“We also need to use this opportunity to take on new digital technologies and platforms such as to streamline the existing operational processes affected by the crisis. It requires more than just the technology, but also stamina, ingenuity and commitment. Then, I’m sure that after the turmoil, KPO will come out stronger and better prepared for what the future has in stock for us”, he said.

Professional growth and development of Kazakhstani employees remains one of the highest priorities for KPO. A couple of years ago KPO launched the Employee Enhanced Development Program aimed at identifying high-potential personnel and their further development to achieve maximum potential and career growth. The Program allowed to clearly define career goals and supported the participants in preparation of effective development plans. As a result, more than 50% of participants have already been promoted and achieved their targeted positions.

KPO’s focus has never slackened with respect to environment: both short- and long-term activities are being implemented as per approved plan, special nature use conditions are being fulfilled, our experts are fully involved in the ongoing on-line discussions of the draft new Environmental Code which has been long awaited.

Amidst the quarantine, KPO continues monitoring the environmental emissions to the fullest extent: air emissions, discharges, waste storage and treatment as well as environment components: ambient air, surface water, ground water and soil.

Air quality, sanitary protection zone and settlements located in the vicinity of the Karachaganak field are always high on the agenda. Air quality is monitored through daily sampling and testing by an accredited laboratory and on-line by fixed automatic environmental monitoring stations operating in 24/7 regime.

In addition, the new energy audit is in the full swing which aims to evaluate as to what extent our energy resources have been used sparingly and to see if there is still a potential for enhanced energy efficiency. This will be then followed by another massive and ambitious undertaking - the long-term Energy and Green House Gases Management Plan.

Recently, the Company held a workshop aimed at promoting environmental awareness of our own staff and employees of our contractors. During the workshop, global environmental issues were discussed such as the growth of resource consumption, increased plastic waste generation, etc. In addition, useful tips and actions were proposed and recommended which everyone can take away into the daily live to reduce his or her environmental footprint. As the quarantine continues, works are ongoing in an on-line mode and a video lesson will be developed shortly dedicated to environment and energy saving.

The current crisis has triggered new global trends and prompted all businesses to change the way they operate and KPO isn’t an exception. In order to better cope with the combined challenges posed by COVID-19 and low oil prices, KPO will have to review its priorities and business processes. This may impact multiple areas and disciplines including budget and planning, supply chain, infrastructure and services, employee and contractor relations, just to name a few. New forms of interface are likely to emerge in response to the ongoing and future risks. Along this process KPO will work closely with RoK regulators, regional authorities, industry partners and other stakeholders to ensure alignment between national interests, business priorities and corporate values.

The KPO team looks ahead with confidence and aspiration, now more than ever committed to carry out its plans for the giant Karachaganak Field in strong partnership with the Republic of Kazakhstan. The partnership, which has stood the test of time and is proudly sailing through the tempest of pandemic into the better and brighter future for all.