TV channel Russia 24 broadcasted a special report on the Gazprom’s foreign
projects and Gazprom International’s activities in the framework
of the Energy News program.
INTERNATIONAL ASSETS: Around the World over 20 Years
Buen Día, Buongiorno, Good Afternoon, Goede Middag in Dutch, Guten Tag in German.
NARRATOR: Amsterdam – The Netherlands. Gazprom International is headquartered here. And here we literally have to catch its Managing Director Andrey Fick. He’s always on the move because the company currently operates in 17 countries on three continents.
SYNC: Andrey Fick — Managing Director, Gazprom EP International B.V.
Polina: How come you manage to work virtually twenty-four seven? With your company’s geography, when one country goes to sleep, workday starts in the other.
Andrey Fick: I don’t have a clue... It’s just… You know, I always say, a man, in particular, shouldn’t have a job to simply earn his bread and butter, he should have a lifework. If you are walking the walk, you don’t care if it’s twenty-four seven or if, so to say, it’s dawn in one country and it’s dusk in the other and so forth. Gazprom International is a large multinational team, a very reliable team, a team that is full of drive, as they say today. No wonder, people who work in these countries work at their best and are in no small way aware of the ins and outs of the countries they are based in. All of this, so to say, is like bees in a beehive, I mean everything is collected and brought to one hub in order to then be processed and probably rearranged in the light of the strategic tasks that Gazprom sets before us.
NARRATOR: The tasks are grand: Having started from production projects, in the near future integrated gas value chains are to be built, that means not only selling gas at the well, but also ensuring its transportation and converting it into electric power and other products, that are end-user products.
…such as natural gas for vehicles and liquefied natural gas — in South America, in particular.
Polina: 2016 saw the commissioning of the Incahuasi gas-condensate field, which was a landmark event for Gazprom. Production started in Bolivia.
NARRATOR: Today, the field is produced at its projected capacity. Meanwhile, exploration activities keep going at the Azero block. Successful upstream operations have paved the way for extensive collaboration: Gazprom has confirmed it intends to expand its presence in the Bolivia’s energy market and develop new projects there.
SYNC: Andrey Fick
We are ready to invest in Bolivia’s projects. They are interesting for us in the first place because, apart from doing business as such, they allow us to access Bolivia’s close neighbors such as Brazil and Argentina. They make up the greater part of South America’s market. Together with our Bolivian partners we are considering ways of establishing joint ventures in Brazil in order to sell the gas we are producing or will potentially produce in Bolivia. This is how we would get access to the end user and to other segments of gas-related businesses running in the neighboring countries and their huge markets with pretty stable prices, and well-developed gas transportation infrastructure.
NARRATOR: A few years ago, a well-developed gas infrastructure only existed in the South of Vietnam. With Gazprom’s arrival, less industrial central Vietnam can finally get covered. Russian specialists discovered a field with a significant commercial potential on the continental shelf, such as the Bao Vang field in 2007, PetroVietnam’s CEO reports.
SYNC: Nguyen Vu Truong Son - CEO of the Vietnamese Oil and Gas Group PetroVietnam
We started working together with Gazprom back in the 2000’s, when the intergovernmental agreement was signed, that collaboration resulted in the Bao Vang field discovery. Currently, we are working closely with Gazprom to optimize the development of this field and make it a part of the multipurpose project for oil and gas and power industry development in the central regions of Vietnam.
NARRATOR: After that there were other significant fields: Bao Den in 2009, the deep water Than Bien in 2016.
SYNC: Victor Klochkov, Deputy Director for Exploration, Vietgazprom JOC
The specifics of our southern blocks is deep water. The sea depth reaches fifteen hundred meters. That sets a record for Vietnam. We have drilled two wells and penetrated the target reservoirs. Core samples and fluid samples were taken. And then we realized what pressures we were dealing with. At the present time we are processing all this data, and reviewing and reevaluating our geological model in order to make it more accurate. As now we have the actual subsurface data.
NARRATOR: Production at these fields is at high stake for Vietnam. Collaboration of two countries in the power sector is rapidly developing in many directions, and Bien Dong, a joint petroleum operating company, was created with PetroVietnam to operate the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach fields. This project has entered the development phase and annually produces more than two billion cubic meters of gas.
SYNC: Dr. Hai, General Director, Bien Dong POC:
Gas is very important for Vietnam.
NARRATOR: We are talking to Dr. Hai, the Head of the Bien Dong joint venture. First in Russian, the language that many high-ranking officials and heads of Vietnamese companies speak. Yet, formally they all prefer to speak their own Vietnamese.
SYNC: Ngo Hiu Hai, General Director, Bien Dong POC
Participation of the Russian specialists is of high importance for my country, as they play a major role in the development of the gas industry here in Vietnam. And I am sure that without the Russian specialists we wouldn’t have reached such level of development.
Polina: We are taking off from the Vung Tau city airport. A two-hour flight and here it is – the Bien Dong production facility. It includes one operational platform and two production platforms Hai Thach, translates as sea marble, and Moc Tinh – translates as Jupiter. We land on the first one. A compulsory safety briefing - it is a high-risk facility, a photo for good memory – journalists from Russia are here for the first time. The Offshore Installation Manager is taking us to the central control room.
SYNC: Tinh Thanh, Offshore Installation Manager, Hai Tach platform
This is operations room. From here we control all equipment of the facility, including the second production platform, here it is on the screen. It is 20 kilometers away from here. The Moc Tinh platform is connected to us with a subsea pipeline that transports gas and condensate. And on this screen we have the data on this pipe: we check pressure, temperature and other parameters.
NARRATOR: Production is carried out from different depths – from 3 to 4 thousand meters. The production volume depends on the demand from the shore. Today it is 5 million cubic meters per day. However there were records – more than 7 million.
ON CAMERA: Polina: Here it is, sancta sanctorum of the Hai Tach platform – wellhead assembly. It is here in the Eastern Sea, as people in Vietnam call it, production is carrying out from 9 wells.
NARRATOR: Everything that is produced from two platforms arrives to the operational platform Hai Tach. Here gas, condensate and water separation takes place.
SYNC: Nail Khabibullin, Deputy General Director of Bien Dong POC
Condensate is separated and transferred to the FSO, then dry treated gas goes into the pipe that continues to the trunk line and to the shore. The distance is 325 km.
NARRATOR: Near Hai Tach you can always spot this vessel – the floating condensate storage with the capacity of 350 thousand barrels. Once a month the accumulated condensate is offloaded into the export tanker. Exactly five years ago, in September 2013 the first cubic meter of commercial gas was produced here.
SYNC: Nail Khabibullin, Deputy General Director of Bien Dong POC
Since then the cumulative production reached a little over 9 bcm of gas and over 2 mln tons of condensate.
NARRATOR: Vietnam has long been thinking about green fuel. Talks on supplies of liquefied natural gas for the purposes of power generation continue.
ON CAMERA: Polina: These masks are in high demand in Vietnam. How much is it?... As locals say, you can’t do without such mask. Pollution is very high. This is how people walk the city and ride their little bikes.
NARRATOR: Masks will not change the environmental condition, unlike NGV, they say in Vietnam. Together with the Russian specialists they work up a project and economic justification for the construction of a power plant in the central part of Vietnam in the Quang Tri province, and also gas filling stations, in the South of the country to start with.
NARRATOR: And this is People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Here Gazprom International has become a drilling contractor, not a typical role for itself at all. 17 wells in 8 fields, which gives about 10 percent of all natural gas production of the country. A skill to share competences has led to a dialog – today new exploration projects are being considered as well as entering production projects of the country, where the population is growing at the exponential rate and equally is the demand for hydrocarbons.
GEO: Amsterdam. The Netherlands
SYNC: Andrey Fick
Bangladesh and neighboring India are to some extent a conglomerate. It is quite a promising region. Rapidly growing industry, GDP growth of about 6-7 % annually, - it all requires resources. If it is not us than someone else. That is why for no doubt we need to be present there.
SYNC: What about projects in Africa and this continent?
- Andrey Fick:
By all means, Africa is in focus. And today we are present in two countries. These are Algeria and Libya. In Algeria we have completed the exploration phase, we have discovered four fields. Currently negotiations are in progress regarding commercial aspects of further development of these fields with the Algerian government. Libya is one of the projects that we received in the course of asset exchange with Wintershall. Naturally, the events in Libya, and the civil war in particular have affected and still affect businesses there. And we are no exception. However, for no doubt, Libya will always remain in focus in the region and we hope that when the situation improves and becomes more predictable our company will start a more intensive work in the region.
NARRATOR: In the framework of asset exchange with a long-term partner Wintershall, in 2015 the company gained access to the European market – to the North Sea.
SYNC: Jost Vihers, Den Helder
Welcome to the Wintershall control room. From here we control 22 platforms. Two desks, 11 platforms each.
We carry out production simultaneously in 4 sectors of the North Sea – the German, Danish, English and of course the Dutch one.
- And how do you manage to do it: different countries, sectors and platforms?
- It is not as difficult as you think. Naturally, it has required time to organize and adjust it legally, and operationally it is quite simple, as in the essence, the platforms are identical.
NARRATOR: Production volumes are about a billion cubic meters of gas per year. But this partner is interesting for Russia due to its operational competences and access to the European market.
SYNC: Andrey Fick
The company possesses assets as an operator, that means it is exploiting these or those fields and platforms, and as a company that participates financially in many projects together with its many European partners. These relationships have long been structured and cultivated which provides possibilities for communication and for business development at the European market. This market is overregulated, very complex, very competitive that is why work here gives absolutely unique opportunities to learn about the system of interaction based on the rules of the European Union.
NARRATOR: At the same time, it is the work with market regulators and it doesn’t matter, where the company is, be it in Europe, Latin America Central, Southern or South-East Asia. For 20 years now the art of cooperation and broadening your own horizons has been brining considerable profit not just for the company, but for Russia.