Head of Tatneft to Pavel Sorokin: ''We saw you with Mr Putin sitting and talking about OPEC''

Oil Summit in Karabash: Human capital of Maganov, curtsey to Leader of Russia, and Higher school of mineral exploration in 2024

Head of Tatneft to Pavel Sorokin: ''We saw you with Mr Putin sitting and talking about OPEC'' Photo: tatarstan.ru

33-year-old Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Pavel Sorokin came to see the Tatarstan showcase of technological achievements at the Oil Summit 2018 in Karabash on July 12. His personality is notable for the fact that the young man did not come out of the bureaucratic hierarchy, but was appointed to the high post at the insistence of Vladimir Putin after he became the absolute winner of the promoted competition Leaders of Russia 2018. Following Moscow trends, Tatneft reformatted the plenary session into a discussion, trying to engage the Moscow guest in a lively dialogue with the audience and specially put on the agenda his favourite topic — personnel policy.

Leader of Russia in Karabash

Until now, the oil companies discussed at previous summits, and they have been 17, anything, but not corporate personnel policy. On this subject as if it was imposed taboo, as without words it is clear how the youth is employed in one of the richest Tatarstan companies. But by the invitation of Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Pavel Sorokin, who became a famous example of democratic ascent to power, the organizers of the forum threw out purely sectoral technological issues from the agenda and brought to the centre of the plenary session unusual for them humanistic topic ''Human capital — basis of technological breakthrough of oil and gas complex''. For those who do not know we remind that the personality of Pavel Sorokin gained instant fame after he became one of the winners of the All-Russian competition of managers Leaders of Russia, held in Sochi in February 2018. At a meeting with them, Vladimir Putin identified him as an active negotiator on OPEC and said directly that ''it's time to promote you''. After this career takeoff, Pavel Sorokin received an invitation to come to Tatarstan to get acquainted with the sixth in terms of oil production company in the Russian Federation, and his guides, of course, were President of the Republic Rustam Minnikhanov and CEO of Tatneft Nail Maganov.

The Moscow guest had quite neutral attitude to engineering developments

Sorokin remembered the case of Higher oil school

Arriving after the opening of new production facilities of TANECO from Nizhnekamsk to the countryside residence of Tatneft in Karabash village of Bugulminsky district, the head of the republic took Sorokin to the exhibition of the technological achievements of the companies. This time, digital developments were presented by the drilling center Tatneft, RITEK JSC, Bugulminsky mechanical plant, Kvart, Neftekh JSC, Bashkir TAPART and NPF Paker. To be honest, the graduate of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, who started his career as a senior auditor of the oil and gas sector at Ernst&Young, could not always appreciate the economic benefits of know-how and was increasingly silent. Sometimes even Rustam Minnikhanov had to explain to him on his fingers or call for help of drillers to explain how ''swelling'' paсkers work in the process of drilling. Near the stand of RITEK, which is considered the flagship of innovations in oil production, Minnikhanov praised Russian producers every time. ''Here everything is domestic,'' he fatherly pointed out.

But the Moscow guest was quite neutral in his attitude to engineering developments. So, without much enthusiasm, he inspected the filtration plant (large and small combustion pipes), used to study the effectiveness of the intra-combustion process and SAGD technology. This installation has no analogues in Russia and was assembled by Kazan specialists from domestic components. A number of large oil companies around the world, including Russian Lukoil, Gazpromneft, Zarubezhneft, Chinese PetroChina and Sinopec, showed interest in it and praised the know-how of Kazan scientists. But a lively response from the deputy minister was caused by a long and impenetrable idea of creating Higher oil school on the basis of AGNI (Almetyevsk State Oil Institute). Pavel Sorokin learned in detail why the idea slowed down, but in the end he promised nothing. Looking ahead, we will say that the president of Tatarstan later called probable terms of the school opening instead of him. This can happen in 2024.

At the entrance to the plenary hall on a huge screen there was the central theme of the upcoming conversation ''Human capital — the basis of technological breakthrough of the oil and gas complex''

Maganov: ''And I can call myself a student!''

At the entrance to the plenary hall on a huge screen there was the central theme of the upcoming conversation ''Human capital — the basis of technological breakthrough of the oil and gas complex'', so that the Moscow guests could breathe with relief. However, it couldn't do without preliminary results of the industry work. The Tatarstan president said that in the first half of the year the production in the country decreased by 0,7% and amounted to 17,641 thousand tonnes, slightly surprising the oilmen. ''This is due to Russia's compliance with the terms of the OPEC+ agreements. A small decline in production did not prevent the oil industry of the republic to increase the volume of investments. Despite a significant increase in the share of tax payments and deductions in the cost of oil (from 66% to 73%), taxable profit in the industry has grown.''

Maganov personally approached the main topic of human capital. ''Investment in human capital is not only money. I can call myself a student of the target educational programme of EMBA, I even have a student's record book! So the path to development in Tatneft affects everyone: from specialist and worker to director general. This is the only way to achieve the ambitious goals that we set for ourselves!'' said the head of Tatneft. He said that today the system of remuneration has changed, bonuses for the implementation of KPI and even a 10% premium for knowledge of English. According to him, Tatneft has launched a large project to develop a personnel reserve for two types of career — ''Leadership'' (management reserve) and ''Technology'' (professional career growth). He did not get tired to emphasize that the main criteria for appointment to the position are openness, transparency and publicity of all procedures from filing an application at will to making a decision on inclusion in the personnel reserve, he explained.

''Mr Sorokin, we all saw you sitting with Mr Putin and talking about OPEC — it's worth a lot. What competencies does one need to have to meet the challenges of the industry?'' Sorokin invited to conversation Nail Maganov as moderator of the plenary session. The deputy minister went into a long explanation that it is necessary to develop personal professional abilities, but the state at its level is obliged to ensure the stability of the tax system. Then the young man was asked what he thought about the idea of the competition ''Leaders of the fuel and energy complex of Russia'', which would help someone to climb up the career ladder. ''You know, it says that the winner has perseverance, brain, and commitment, but it is not a guarantee of his growth,'' he said. According to him, the Russian education system is focused on the study of fundamental sciences, while the West is set on the development of communication between specialists in different fields and therefore they do not necessarily should know everything. ''The main thing is the team spirit,'' he said.

Shafagat Takhautdinov 20 years after the default of 1998 openly said how the oil company was getting out of the crisis

We will not pay and that's it!

It couldn't do without sensations. Ex-CEO of Tatneft Shafagat Takhautdinov 20 years after the default in 1998 openly said how the oil company was getting out of the crisis. ''We told the creditors that we would not pay. If you seek bankruptcy, you would get nothing!'' he repeated those magic words that saved Tatneft from prosecution of Western creditors. But everything ended well: Tatneft repaid the loan early. Pavel Sorokin left this passage without comments.

In conclusion, he answered journalists' questions about gasoline prices. He assured that the price of gasoline in 2018 will grow within inflation. ''The measures that have now been taken — this is the supply of additional volumes to the exchange, the decline in wholesale prices, the responsibility of companies that are responsible for this issue and the reduction of excise duties — they should help keep prices within inflation, near inflation rates.'' However, exactly a year ago his predecessor Kirill Molodtsov also struggled with galloping prices for gasoline, but, as you can see, they do not obey the ministry of energy. The communication with the media ended on a positive note. Head of Tatneft Nail Maganov announced that since July 22 Tatneft begins to increase oil production in connection with the revision of the OPEC agreement. ''As we received news from Vienna, exactly at the same hour, pressed the button and began to grow,'' he smiled, adding that it was not possible to completely remove the restrictions, so the daily rate has been increased to 2,500 tonnes per day.

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By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: tatarstan.ru
Tatarstan