Karachaganak: Effective Partnership

January 24, 2014, “Kazakhstan Pravda” by Lyudmila Korina

An oil and gas field located in Burlin district in Preuralye is called the main wealth of the region. “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.”, carrying out activities in the field, makes a significant contribution to social reconstruction of the region.

Social support priorities can be considered as established. They include healthcare, education, infrastructure facilities, culture and sport. Investors strictly observe obligations specified in the Basic Production Sharing Agreement. Another regular victory in the National Competition for Social Responsibility “Paryz” serves a confirmation of the foregoing. At the end of December last year KPO received a silver award in the Best Social Project category. Such a high estimate was given to a secondary school for 1200 pupils constructed in Uralsk. It is a modern educational institution, completely meeting international quality standards. The building area is 15 thousand square meters. It consists of five blocks, comprising 48 classrooms, computer and linguistic labs, workshops, a classroom for conducting basic military training, a sports complex, a library, a canteen and a first-aid room. Moreover, the customer performs not only the construction of facilities but also their outfitting. That is, providing the delivery on a turnkey basis.

— For us, this award is an evidence of high recognition of the Company’s contribution to sustainable development of the region, — said Damiano Ratti, KPO General Director, when receiving silver “Paryz”. — While achieving high performance indicators, the Company aims at ensuring maximum efficiency from the development of the Karachaganak field for the region and country. Successful implementation of social projects was made possible due to our fruitful cooperation and partnership developed with the West Kazakhstan oblast authorities.

This point of view is shared by Marat Karimov, deputy akim of the region. He said that at the expense of the companies developing the Karachaganak oil and gas reserves, 13 medical institutions, 6 gasification facilities, 17 schools had been built in Preuralye. A complete list of social projects, where KPO acts as a project owner, covers multiple pages. Previously, $ 10 million was committed to social projects annually. Presently, this amount was increased to $ 20 million.

Funding of sports development in WKO is a priority. “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V.” also makes a significant contribution to improving its infrastructure. The first large-scale project in this area commissioned in 2001 was the construction of the Ice Rink in Uralsk. According to its director, Iskabyl Zhalmurziyev, who is an honourable sportsman of RoK, the constructors have erected the Ice Rink of such high quality level, that now it looks like new under appropriate maintenance conditions. It is the largest sport hall in the region with an ice arena of 1800 square meters, a gym and fitness facility, a summer tennis court and a mini football ground. The Ice Rink stands are designed for 1300 spectators. In a relatively short time ice can be covered with a special coating, which allows exhibitions and forums to be held there. The Ice Rink is also home for the Children and Youth Sports School, which offers figure skating, short track, ice hockey and weightlifting. By the way, the Ice Rink regularly hosts national and international competitions in power sports.

One can say that its own school of figure skating — one of the most beautiful sports — has already been formed in Uralsk. Promising young athletes become students of the Regional boarding school for children gifted in sports and the Republican Centre of Olympic Training. Young residents of Uralsk won numerous victories. Thus, in 2011, the short-track team entered the top three winners in the relay race at the VII Winter Asian Games. 23 school students are the members of the national team in winter sports. Six world-class athletes in short track won licenses to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

But high achievements sports and mass sports are inseparable. In the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays children and adults go skating in the Ice Rink. Rental centre is available. Often entire families come here. Especially now many people wish to get the boost of energy and high spirits, because a whimsical winter constantly interchanges frosts and thaw. Such weather conditions made outdoor skating rinks out of use. And here excellent quality of ice is provided all the year round. By the way, despite water, electricity and heat rates increase, prices for the Ice Rink services are not raised.

Another high-demanded social project of KPO is a swimming-pool. Since 2005 the only Children and Youth Aquatics Swim School in the region has been functioning here. It is headed by Serik Nurgaliyev, a teacher with long experience of work and sound athletic past. Training classes in the school are scheduled minute by minute, because the number of those who want to attend the swimming-pool is much higher than it can contain. Now it involves more than 400 young athletes. Pre-training groups are also organised here. The school can be proud of its achievements. Among its students are the champions of national and international competitions. Suffice to say that during competitions held last year in the city of Satpayev in Karaganda oblast, young swimmers won 26 medals. Several pupils of “Zhaiyk Samaly” swimming pool are trained in Almaty school for gifted in sports children.

In a busy schedule of training enough time is allocated to children of Uralsk, who learn water treading. Usually this result can be achieved within a month. And afterwards children take to like a duck to water, as the saying goes. It is worth saying that this job is extremely important for Uralsk, which is surrounded by three rivers. A lot of families from southern areas located in steppe and semi desert zone move to the central city of the region. Children of these settlers should be taught to swim first of all. Students of Nazarbayev Intellectual School, children from orphan asylums, disabled people, and veterans have a constant opportunity to train in the pool. For mass sports development certain time is scheduled during which anyone presenting a certificate of health can swim in the pool for free.

Health treatment procedures are also included in the schedule. Members of Veteran Woman’s club attend the pool three times a week. They called their society “Those who are over...”. Olga Vladimirovna Naugolnova, the head of the club, several decades worked as a physical training teacher. And in the years of her youth she was a repeated champion of the country in track-and-field athletics. In her opinion, the living force of water has not yet been studied to the end. Water therapy turned out to be so healing that ailments and diseases of pensioners remained in the past.

Currently, KPO implements the next large-scale project. An indoor tennis court is being built in a new district of the city where residential construction is effectively conducted. At the construction site, I met Zhanibek Galiyev, the KPO social projects manager. He said that the project provides for four indoor and four outdoor courts, as well as recreation area, basketball, volleyball and children’s playgrounds, landscaping with automatic irrigation system. This sports complex will also meet the highest standards. Nearby, construction of another KPO facility — Qadir Ali Mirza Palace of Arts is also in progress. Social projects are implemented in Preuralye regions. At present, for example, the construction of a Culture and Recreation Centre with an assembly hall for 200 seats in the village of Sulykol’ in a distant Karatobe district is underway.

— When choosing the contractors, we always adhere to the principles of supporting local producers — says Zhanibek Robertovich. Only local companies are involved in KPO social projects implementation. Partner relationships, which develop in the spirit of mutual understanding, are supported with construction units. Primary attention is paid to compliance with safety regulations. Quality corresponding to international standards is a fundamental requirement. It should be observed in the process of design and production of works. We control the use of high-quality construction materials. Moreover, the preference is also given to those produced in Kazakhstan. In cooperation with the oblast authorities it is determined what and where to build. It allows solving urgent problems of the region.

Several stadiums are reconstructed and virtually rebuilt in Uralsk at the expense of KPO. Sophia Shaymardanovna Imangaliyeva, the Chairman of the Board of Veteran Teachers, in her youth went in for track-and-field athletics, won the competitions of various ranks, including republican ones. She believes that the term “veteran of sports” is quite relative. Former athletes do not exist. Outdoors in the stadium she can breathe easily at any time of the year. Friendship with sports helps her to keep fit and healthy in her considerable age. According to her opinion, the Alley of geologists, located in one of the squares of Uralsk, is an evidence of nice attitude of the oblast’s residents to those who develop hydrocarbon reserves of the region. The busts of those who stood at the origin of oil and gas industry in Preuralye are erected there. Sophia Shaymardanovna believes that considerable number of KPO social projects is focused on promotion of health in whole or in part. Excellent conditions for training are provided in modern schools, constructed by investors. With healthcare facilities commissioning, the quality of medical services increases. And of course, sports facilities are a reliable “tool” for health promotion. And as the RoK President said in his address “Kazakhstan’s way-2050”, “adoption of a healthy lifestyle and development of medicine will make it possible to increase the duration of life of Kazakhstan citizens to 80 years and more”.

Residents of Uralsk are also proud of such unique KPO facilities as the Kazakh Drama Theatre, the Palace of Ceremonies, the Children’s village of family type. The Regional Philharmonic and the Ostrovsky Russian Drama Theatre have been restored; roads are being built, service lines are being laid and repaired. Social projects are also implemented in the city of Aksai, which is the administrative centre of the field.

— It is encouraging that the KPO project has been honoured with a high award and acknowledged the best in the country — said Marat Karimov, the oblast deputy akim. — Moreover, when summing up the results of “Paryz” competition, numerous aspects have been considered, that is, the quality of construction and the level of outfitting. Such facilities as the Ice Rink and swimming pool are very popular among the population. This year the tennis court will be commissioned, which will give an additional pulse to the development of this kind of sport here in our oblast and in the country, in general.