Oil, gas and pandemic: how to work in new market and living conditions – will be told at OGT-2020

The anniversary 25th Conference “Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan” will be held on October 28-29 online and offline with the basic site in Ashgabat. ORIENT has already written that along with the State Concerns Turkmengas and Turkmenoil, the Business Entity Turkmen Forum with the support of the well-known British Company Gaffney Cline acts as a co-organizer of the International Forum OGT-2020.

On the eve of this significant event, the ORIENT correspondent talked to OGT-2020 Project Manager for the part of Turkmen Forum Osman Seyidov, and learned some of the details concerning its holding.

– Turkmen Forum is a young, but already standing up as a known company. A few words about it, please…

– Our company is indeed young, but the upcoming conference, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of acquiring the permanent neutrality status by the Turkmen state, will be the fifth major forum we participate as a co-organizer.

These include such high-level events as the 1st Caspian Economic Forum (Avaza, August 2019), the 5th International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan – TGC-2019 (Avaza), OGT-2019 (Ashgabat) and the International Road Show “Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan-2020”, held in February this year in Dubai (UAE).

– What are the special features of the forum this year?

– Due the ongoing worldwide pandemic, our next forum will be held in a new, hybrid form. The transfer of a part of the conference to the online space was, of course, a forced measure, but it did not limit, but even expanded its possibilities. I must say that this year there was a very high interest in OGT from international companies, and all of them now have the opportunity to join the discussions on the prospects of the oil and gas market of Turkmenistan from anywhere in the world.

As for the Ashgabat site, the conference is organized taking into account all the recommendations given by the Ministry of Health of the country and the WHO, including thermometry, disinfection of hands and rooms, chessboard seating chart, physical distance, etc. About 200 delegates will directly participate in the forum, that is, these are only those who will be present in the conference room, and foreign delegates will connect online through the ZOOM professional platform. The videoconferencing will cover over 70 countries. And in total we expect more than 300 delegates.

Meetings with the governing body of the oil and gas complex of Turkmenistan, working consultations and the negotiation process will be held via video links.

– What a group of speakers will be at the conference?

– I will name some of them: Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum Yuri Sentyurin, Lukoil Company Vice President Azat Shamsuarov, Acting Chairman of the Central Bank of Afghanistan Ajmal Ahmadi… Sentyurin, for example, will speak on the topic “The role of natural gas in the global energy sector in the post-pandemic period”.

Also noteworthy is the fact that this year OGT is attended by President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Thomas Blasingheim. He will talk about his organization that supports oil and gas exploration and production professionals as well as students obtaining relevant degrees, and will present a recent overview of the oil and gas industry.

In a word, the group of speakers is very representative and also includes the top managers of international oil companies.

– Tell us briefly about the key topics of the forum’s work programme.

– A cross-cutting theme is the energy diplomacy of Turkmenistan as a factor in energy security and sustainable development of the entire region. It will also be considered in terms of neutrality, in particular, in the context of such transnational project as the TAPI gas pipeline. This will be the focus of the plenary session.

The agenda of the working sessions covers global trends in energy markets, prospects for cooperation, attracting investments in the development of offshore sites in the Turkmen section of the Caspian Sea. The latter, by the way, is a very topical issue; on which the chief executive of such companies as Petronas and Dargon Oil will speak. A report on the development of deposits in the north of the Caspian Sea is expected on behalf of the Lukoil Company.

The issues of monetizing the oil and gas sector and the development of its refining sector will also be raised. Turkmenistan will present its advanced experience by the example of the Turkmenbashy Complex of Oil Refineries, the gas chemical complex in Kiyanly, the world’s first gasoline plant.

– Will the academic community be represented at the forum?

– Yes, experts from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies will take part in the conference. They will highlight the analytical aspect from a scientific point of view. It is important that companies hear their competent opinion on the state of the global oil and gas market.

Another innovation of the upcoming conference will be a seminar to take place as part of it, which will be held at the International Institute of Oil and Gas with the participation of leading Turkmen and foreign experts.

– Are any statements and promulgation of important facts expected at the forum?

– Sure! There will be many assessments of the current state of the energy market in view of all the ongoing challenges such as a decline in oil prices, a drop in demand for hydrocarbon resources, quarantine measures around the world that affect supply and demand, and the global economic crisis as an aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading world experts will share their opinions and visions at this conference on how to adapt and work in new realities, what to expect during the recovery period. This all is very important and interesting for investors, technological community and top managers. After all, life goes on, and we continue to collaborate and open up new opportunities together.