“What rubbish do people say! Oil hook, for instance”

An oil summit in the Republic of Tatarstan in a format of HR campaign for young personnel to Tatneft

The president of Tatarstan and young federal functionaries explained 250 participants of the 1st International Oil and Gas Youth Forum what global challenges world oil production they would have to face in the future. In addition, VIPs who arrived in the traditional Oil Summit of the Republic of Tatarstan in Almetyevsk District said how to make hard-to-reach oil production profitable, how the digital transformation of the Fuel and Energy Complex would look and what books they read. More is in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Change of genre

The annual oil summit of Tatarstan, which used to gather officials of Tatneft and lower ranked representatives from small oil companies (SOC), has changed its format beyond recognition this year. The organisers decided to combine it with the 1st International Oil and Gas Youth Forum for the first time in 18 years of the professionals’ summer camps. And the former seems to have completely driven out the business agenda of Tatarstan oil companies.

This time there was given no report on neither oil production pace nor the state of reserves, “tax manoeuvres”. Many authoritative specialists of the sector didn’t come to the forum, neither did the heads of Russian SOCs. Suffice it to say that the oil summit took place without head of Oilconsortium Fanis Valiyev who had unchangeably chaired it together with the head of Tatneft.

Tatneft’s HR technology

Meanwhile, the Tatneft top management was represented in full, but its attention was focused on students of leading oil universities of the country and young specialists of famous oil companies. They arrived in Almetyevsk as teams two days earlier to participate in the 1st International Oil and Gas Youth Forum and HOT-Challenge hackathon.

The competition has been announced by Tatneft for the first time. And we have to say that the interest in it turned out unexpectedly huge: 250 people, 42 teams from five CIS countries. Youth health camp in a calm pine forest, which is 10 km far from Almetyevsk, was at the competitors’ disposal. They went through a tough selection process — we can say that the best youth of the oil and gas sector from Russia, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan came to the competition. In a word, Tatneft borrowed the HR technology from Rosneft and Gazpromneft, which also recruit young people with such campaigns.

To talk with the young specialists, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Youth, of course, not alone but with Vice Minister of Energy of Russia Pavel Sorokin and new head of the Federal Service for Supervising Natural Resources Svetlana Radionova. As it is known, Sorokin was appointed to this post in March 2018 having become the winner of Leaders of Russia federal competition, and Radionova was promoted late last year leaving the post of the vice head of the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision. A more experienced colleague shadowed them, Director General of State Commission for Mineral Reserves Federal Public Establishment Igor Shpurov.

One of the directors of MOL and SLOVNAFT oil company from Hungary Zoltán Áldott and Director of Global Business UOP LLC from the USA Mohamed Shakur provided the competition with international status. They were speakers of the panel discussion (read as the plenary session of the forum) Development of FEC. Global Challenges, Trends and World Agenda. Head of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency Taliya Minullina became its moderator. The latter looked unusually: she wore a black suit and white platform trainers. Especially careful journalists noticed a slightly visible ring on the middle finger, too — Ms Minullina hadn’t been seen with it. But the ring was black and probably served as the finishing touch of the young style.

The head of the TIDA immediately drew the attention of the audience with her ringing voice and charming smile. Before the beginning of the panel discussion, she offered all the attendees to take part in interactive voting to choose the most topical topics for oil production. Five variants of answers were offered: rational subsurface use in mature fields, hard-to-reach reserves, digital transformation of the SOC, digital oil refinery and renewables. According to the voting’s result, digital transformation, hard-to-reach reserves and renewables were in the top 3. And here one could conclude that young idealists gathered in the hall.

“Gold and forex reserves can devaluate, while natural resources can't”

Taliya Minullina began to ask speakers how they voted, but not all of them answered openly. And Pavel Sorokin didn’t manage to vote — the programme wasn’t downloaded into his smartphone. Answering the question where his ministry saw the biggest prospects of development, the deputy minister noted that it wasn’t possible to point out a single area, while digitalisation in itself was nothing. “No need to push spherical horse in a vacuum,” he claimed. “Digital technologies must bring an economic return.”

Only Rustam Minnikhanov said directly he voted for the second position. “The rest complements it,” the Tatarstan president explained. “Gold and forex reserves can devaluate, while natural resources can't.” Moreover, Minnikhanov agrees with the sector’s authority Renat Muslimov who states that the republic’s oil reserves will do for 200 years. Another thing is that it is becoming harder to extract these resources from the depths — 65% of oil reserves are hard-to-reach. The reverse is the unprofitability of their production, the president complained. According to him, in this case, they should refuse the patterns of taxation schemes, switch to individual taxation.

The Moscow guest didn’t comment on this moment, though if it had been the representative of the federal finance ministry, we couldn’t have probably avoided polemics.

How Tatneft and Canadians’ JV split

Developing the topic of sanctions on the Russian SOC, Rustam Minnikhanov surprised young oil workers with a story how once they tried to attract a Canadian bitumen oil production technology to the republic, but nothing worked out. “We had a great desire to have this technology here,” he recalled. “They (Canadians) wanted to create a joint venture with us to increase their capitalisation by means of our reserves but didn’t give any technology. Tatneft had to severe links with them and develop the technologies on its own. Now we have more than 300 patents.”

“What rubbish do people say, oil hook, for instance,” the head of the republic continued talking. “Hydrocarbons are a very valuable product with which one can develop oil refining. Oil and gas are a fortune.”

“It was raining today in the morning, you know,” Taliya Minullina became lyrical. “Isn’t it the Russian economy weeping for shale oil?” she pronounced and turned towards Igor Shpurov. He replied in a similar mode saying that foreign investors would be weeping on shale oil very soon because its production rate is dramatically low. Shpurov sees digitalisation as a tool of hydrodynamic field modelling. “There is nothing similar in the world,” he claimed.

“The one who will create it first will get a huge advantage.”

In his address to the youth, Mohamed Shakur began to talk about ecology. He asked to learn that black gold was underground, and green gold is on the surface. According to Shakur, now his company is dealing with technologies reducing water consumption — the amount of drinking resource is reducing around the world.

President get +10% of adherents

After this discussion, Taliya Minullina asked to vote again, and the hall saw the results changed: the second position was first, which — we should remind — the president had voted for. “You influence the outcome of the voting here as well,” the moderator noted. It turned out that the head of Tatarstan managed to get 10% votes more thanks to his power of persuasion, but no more.

Afterwards, young people were given a chance to ask the speakers questions. A girl from the hall asked what books they should read. The vice energy minister of Russia advised two books: Brave New World by Brave New World and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and any book on economics. “A lot of people try to explain processes in society with conspiracy theories and extra-terrestrial interference, though many things are explained by numbers and economics,” Sorokin explained.

The Tatarstan president admitted he read takeaways from books. “It turned out that the biggest owner of groundbreaking ideas in recent time is Herman Gref, and he weekly sends me a pile of books. It is hard to read everything, this is why my aide provides me with takeaways, and I try to be aware,” Minnikhanov said. “Reading books takes much time. But it is very important to understand the existing trends. This is why one should find a way to be aware of all the events.”

While Tatneft Director General Nail Maganov said that Dunno on the Moon was the first book on management he liked the most. “A person gets the same thoughts and knowledge at any age at the level he understands them,” he said.

By Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: tatarstan.ru

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