Chief Executive’s ColumnNovember 23, 2020 13:28
2020 made us all leave our comfort zones and take a crush test. Now we can take a deep breath and say to ourselves — we are still standing. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, endless challenges and total uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, we have managed to adapt and learned to live and work in the new reality.
Needless to say, the epidemic could not but affect our work processes. There were things we adapted, however all operational tasks in the countries of presence were solved and are still being solved in accordance with the pre-approved schedules. And there are certain attainments that are especially heartwarming in the time of the pandemics.
This year, in cooperation with our partners at Wintershall Dea first gas was produced from the Sillimanite offshore field in the North Sea, and three wells were put into operation.
In Bangladesh, we are about to sign an Addendum for the construction of three wells in Bhola Island, and hopefully this year we will start assessing the possibility of entering the production project on the island.
At the Shakhpahty field in Uzbekistan, we are on schedule and adhere to the planned gas production targets. Well No. 10 was put into operation giving us hope for extending the production from the field for several years to come. The Company has started to work on the project documents for the Djel field. I hope, this year together with our Uzbek partners we will begin to develop it.
Despite the difficult times related to the pandemics, and a significant drop in fuel demand, projects in Vietnam show positive dynamics. In the past year our Company was appointed the investor of the Quang Tri power plant construction project. This is a completely new, ambitious and exciting project that will raise interaction with Vietnamese partners to a higher level. And for us it will bring new experience and unique competencies.
October saw an important stage of work in Libya: together with our partners at WIAG we passed the field operator functions in the Sirte Basin, Block 91 and 107, to a newly created JV with the National Libyan Oil Company — Sarir Oil Operations. At the same time the country announced the lifting of the force majeure regime from all export terminals and ports; oil production is gradually being restored at the sites.
We put high expectations on the development of our project in Algeria. Together with Sonatrach we applied to the Algerian National Agency for the Valorization of Hydrocarbon Resources (ALNAFT) with a request to transfer the project to the terms of the new Hydrocarbon Law.
The construction of the Ñancahuazú X1 well in Bolivia's Azero Block was completed in the most severe geological conditions. The well depth of 5830 meters is an all-time record for this region! Despite the difficulties, we managed to fulfill our contractual obligations for exploration, and gained a unique technical and operational experience.
I would like to mention specifically that the Company was actively negotiating and successfully inking significant documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding with BAPEX on the assessment of deposits on Bola Island, Cooperation Agreements with PJSC Gazprom Neft, JSC Zarubezhneft, SC Rosgeologia, Agreement of Intent to establish a JV with SC Rosgeologia and Memorandum of Understanding with Belorusneft. In addition, with our direct participation, a Memorandum on Strategic Cooperation was prepared and signed between PJSC Gazprom and Petrobangla, and a Strategic Partnership Agreement between PJSC Gazprom and Petrovietnam Vietnam Oil and Gas Group.
We continue working on new promising areas of activity. In Bolivia, the approval of the Vitiacua project Oil and Gas Service Contract continues. We are at the final stage of updating the General Scheme of Bolivia's Gas Industry Development until 2040.
In Argentina, we are considering the feasibility of participating in E&P projects proposed by YPF — the Argentine State Oil and Gas Company.
In Uzbekistan, the issue of the feasibility of PJSC Gazprom participation is being studied in the context of geological exploration of the new blocks.
Quality Management System
Throughout the year, the Company has battled its way towards the intended targets. It continued to implement a project to introduce the process approach, which has already had a positive impact on the manageability of the Gazprom EP International Group and labor productivity. The Company is prepared for certification according to the international ISO standard. In 2020, we focused significant efforts on creating a balanced portfolio of the Company's production assets: reducing the number of high-risk assets and increasing high-yielding assets around the world.
In 2020, most of our activities moved online, and for many, this has become an additional stimulus for development. Since March, our colleagues from Gazprom International Training have conducted a super session of webinars on soft skills development among the employees. Representatives of Gazprom EP International from all over the world including its offices in Russia, Vietnam and Bolivia, as well as our colleagues from the administration of PJSC Gazprom, Gazprom Export and Gazprom Marketing & Trading took an active part in more than 60 seminars.
Colleagues from the HR block also had a lot on their shoulders. And in difficult circumstances, they managed to find ways to introduce new forms of work. For instance, the internship of 13 experts from Petrovietnam and its subsidiaries was arranged in the remote learning format.
Friends! All the Company's successes, its plans and development strategy are based on the conscientious, responsible and hard work of its experts and executives.
I know for a fact that the team of Gazprom EP International is made up of people with unique experiences, and this is our most valuable resource.