Kazakh refinery upgrades in the spotlight at Argus conference
The second Argus Kazakhstan & Central Asia Oil and Gas conference took place on 27-28 June in the Kazakh capital Astana. The event brought together key players in the crude, refined products, liquefied gas, metals and coal markets, as well as representatives from transport and logistics companies and government officials from Kazakhstan and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
The event was supported by Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry, the State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan’s Finance Ministry, and by industry association Kazenergy. This year’s conference sponsors were transport company Intertrans and the filling station chain Compass.
More than 150 participants representing 45 firms from 12 countries discussed the current state and prospects of the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries.
The event was attended by representatives of leading companies, including Kazmunaigaz (KMG), CPC-K, Kazakh Railways, Sibur, Ukrgazvydobuvannya, United Chemical Company (UCC) and many others.
William Harwood, Vice-President for Business Development at Argus, made a welcoming speech in which he expressed the hope that the event will become a trusted business platform for the exchange of views on the key issues affecting the central Asian oil and gas markets.
Daniyar Tiesov, KMG Deputy Chairman for Oil Transportation, Refining and Marketing, spoke about the current refinery upgrade situation in Kazakhstan. He noted the surplus of domestically produced gasoline and said Kazakhstan is ready to export the product to its neighbours. Summing up, he encouraged delegates to continue an open dialogue at the event and at subsequent Argus conferences.
Kazenergy General Director Aset Magauov covered the key issues facing the fuel and energy sector. He highlighted the results of Kazenergy’s work to support the oil products market and measures taken to encourage investment in the development of mineral resources.
Kuanysh Kudaibergenov, the Kazakh Energy Ministry’s Head of Oil Industry Development, returned to the subject of refinery upgrades, describing the action being taken to develop refineries and support the refining industry. He also noted the energy ministry’s long-standing partnership with Argus Media, including the use of the Argus daf Bekabad price assessment to determine the wholesale price for liquefied gas in the Kazakh market, and the use of Argus data in making strategic decisions. Kudaibergenov expressed his hope that the conference will provide fresh impetus for the development of trade in the region.
The second session was dedicated to Kazakh crude and product exports. Kairgeldy Kabyldin, Deputy Chief Executive of CPC-K, discussed the creation of an efficient system to supply crude to domestic and export markets, and what can be done to nurture a favourable economic environment for exports.
Tulemis Shotanov, First Deputy Chief Executive for Commercial Issues at KMG’s fuel retailer KMG Onimderi, presented the audience with an overview of the main trends on the Kazakh products market and retail sector at a session that focused on the domestic market. He noted that current refinery upgrades have had a significant impact on the products market. “In Kazakhstan, gasoline and light oil products are actually among the cheapest in the world,” Shotanov said. He also considered the threats to further development of the products market, highlighting the importance of digitalisation and the introduction of a service for the remote provision of filling station services.
Berik Zhankubayev, Head of Business Development at UCC, spoke about the creation and development of special economic zones ― Taraz Chemical Park and Atyrau Petrochemical Park — to drive the development of the chemical and petrochemical industries in Kazakhstan.
At the end of the first day, a round-table discussion focused on central Asia’s products and liquefied gas markets. Afterwards, guests enjoyed an evening cocktail reception at a local restaurant.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to pricing in the crude and oil products markets, along with exports of coal and metals from Kazakhstan and the development of the region’s liquefied gas market.
The conference was attended by Gani Eskarayev, Chief Expert at Kazakhstan’s State Revenue Committee, who joined in the discussion on transfer pricing.
Reports on development of the liquefied petroleum gas market were delivered by officials from the Astana International Financial Centre, Sibur International, Ukrgazvydobuvannya, and by Demeu Seitzhanov, Deputy Head of Gas Industry Development at Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry.
Argus thanks all of our conference participants and looks forward to seeing you next year!