British Gas Invested Over US$1bn in Kazakhstan
This Interview for our magazine has been given the Regional Representative of British Gas Kazakhstan Mr. David Skeels
What is the role of British Gas for the economy of Great Britain?
I am sure you are aware the BG Group is one of the largest British companies, and is now, in Britain, focused on what we do best – exploring and producing gas and oil in the offshore sector. BG has many interests in the North Sea, but in particular is a participant in the recently discovered Buzzard Field. This field is reportedly the largest oil field discovered in the last 10 years. The BG Group and former parts of BG, that have been demerged, firstly Centrica (for gas distribution) and then Lattice (for gas transportation), are key components of the British economy.
What are the long-term strategic priorities of the company?
The core business of the BG Group lies in the development, management and supply of existing and newly emerging gas markets around the world. We will seek out attractive markets with high growth potential, and take positions in mature markets, in order to develop and enhance our portfolio of world class assets as BG - The Integrated Gas Major.
What projects is British Gas carrying out in Kazakhstan?
BG has three investment priorities in Kazakhstan. With a 32.5% interest in Karachaganak, we are a joint operator of this giant field. BG is also a shareholder (14.29%) in the North Caspian Project, with Agip KCO as the operator of the North Caspian PSA, which includes the discovery of Kashagan. In addition, BG holds a stake of 2% in the system of Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which has built and is operating the pipeline network for pumping oil from West Kazakhstan to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. The company has already invested over one billion US dollars in these projects in Kazakhstan.
Could you tell us about the co-operation prospects between British Gas and Central Asian countries?
BG in Central Asia is concentrating efforts exclusively in Kazakhstan, the country with the greatest oil and gas potential and the most favorable investment climate.
What major projects is the company implementing in other countries?
Active on five continents in some 20 countries BG Group operates four business segments - Exploration & Production, Liquefied Natural Gas, Transmission & Distribution, and Power Generation.
The following are countries where we are particularly active at the present time.
• BG Group is a major gas player in Trinidad & Tobago, both through production and its shareholding in the Atlantic LNG Project. It is developing reserves offshore the north and east costs of Trinidad, both for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and to grow sales in local markets.
• In Egypt BG is an important participant in the development of the gas chain, with investments both upstream and downstream. Since 1997 BG has drilled 17 successful exploration and appraisal wells, representing an 89% success rate and discoveries totaling more than 10 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves Two major gas discoveries are currently under development and will be used to supply the growing local market that includes BG’s Nile Valley Gas Company franchise in Upper Egypt. In April 2001, an agreement was signed to develop a liquefied natural gas export project for uncontracted gas.
• Gas demand in India is expected to grow from the current level of 5 billion cubic feet per day to about 14 billion cubic feet per day in 2025. BG will play an important role in the development of each stage of the gas chain in the west of India. BG participates in two gas distribution ventures: it has a controlling stake in Gujarat Gas and is a partner in the Mahanagar Gas joint venture. It is also developing an LNG import and re-gasification project
What are the social programmes of British Gas? What are the company’s environmental initiatives?
As a guest in many countries, we believe that we have obligations to these communities. In 2001 BG spent some 5 million US dollars on community contributions worldwide. A large proportion of this was spent on projects funded by BG as part of its contractual obligations. Funds have also been allocated for community investments: grants and donations, initiatives such as sponsorship and support for universities, research and other charitable institutions.
We also take our responsibilities to conduct the BG Group’s operations with particular regard to the environment. All parts of the BG Group have sound and effective HSE management systems, aimed at applying best industry practice at the highest standard in line with commercial objectives. In Kazakhstan BG’s environmental initiatives include: all HSE management programs of our projects in the regions, support for the BG Chair of Environmental Technology at the Almaty Institute of Power Engineering and Telecommunications, support for the Climate Change Coordination Centre; support of the Central Asian Regional Environmental Centre, sponsorship for Masters’ courses in Environmental studies, and the touring BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition.
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