Scholarship students from Kurdistan commence their studies at the National Mineral Resources University, St Petersburg
Gazprom Neft Scholarship students from Kurdistan will begin their studies in Oil and Gas Geology and Oilfield Development at the National Mineral Resources University, St Petersburg, from 1 September 2015 — the future students having completed a seven-month academic programme at the university’s Foundation Department and successfully passing the examinations.
The Gazprom Neft Middle East Scholarship Program educational initiative is being managed by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazprom Neft Middle East, currently implementing exploration and production projects at three license blocks throughout the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). On successful completion of their studies, these young professionals will be offered employment at Gazprom Neft enterprises throughout Iraq — fulfilling the company’s long-term objective of increasing the number of local professionals employed, over the next five to seven years.
A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Natural Resources visited St Petersburg in summer 2015, during which time delegates met with senior management of Gazprom Neft, as well as the Kurdish students. A second round of competitive selection for participants in the scholarship programme (to be held by Gazprom Neft, together with the Natural Resources University, St Petersburg), is planned for August 2015. A further eight talented young professionals from Kurdistan will be given the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious technical institutions in Russia.
Mikhail Kholodov, CEO, Gazprom Neft Middle East BV commented: “One of the company’s most important corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the KRI concerns educational projects. The Gazprom Neft Middle East Scholarship Program, established in 2014, has proved its success, with its participants consistently showing excellent results. In a few years we expect to to have among our ranks a number of young oil and gas industry specialists familiar with the specific challenges of working in the Middle East. We are also delighted to see that this project appears to be highly rated by residents of the KRI, by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and by local government. This, beyond any doubt, is having a very positive impact regarding the reputation of our company’s projects abroad.”
Gazprom Neft is currently involved in developing four projects in Iraq, three of which are located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), with Gazprom Neft Middle East having interests in the Garmian, Halabja and Shakal blocks, holding an 80-percent interest in the Halabja and Shakal fields (the remainder being held by the Kurdistan Regional Government). Two exploration wells were drilled at the Shakal block in August 2014, with pilot testing now ongoing.
The company currently has a 40-percent interest in the Garmian block, and is due to become operator on this project in 2015. Detailed field appraisal on this block is currently ongoing in preparation for its being opened up for large-scale development, with the Kurdistan Regional Government currently assessing preliminary plans, to that end.
Gazprom Neft’s fourth project in Iraq concerns the development of the Badra field, located in the Wassit province, in the east of the country. Preliminary investigations suggest reserves at the Badra field could total as much as three billion barrels of oil. Gazprom Neft is operator on this project, with a 30-percent interest. Commercial production at the Badra field commenced in August 2014.
Gazprom Neft implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes throughout all of those regions in which it operates, undertaking initiatives directed at improving quality of life for local populations. In particular, under the auspices of its Middle East Scholarship Program Gazprom Neft Middle East has, since 2014, arranged educational programmes for 32 Kurdish students, selected through competition, at some of the most significant academic establishments in Russia.