Thursday, March 23, 2017

Towards a New Reality: A Perspective on the Future of the Oil & Gas Industry

With the green shoots emerging, the oil & gas industry may have reasons to hope for, and perhaps foresee, better times ahead.

Optimism is gradually creeping in the oil & gas industry.

Background image courtesy
Towards the end of 2016, the industry witnessed developments that herald a promising future for oil & gas. For instance, OPEC members and a number of non-OPEC producers have agreed to cut production, rig counts were steadily rising and the US natural gas sector continued to claw as it spurs the US’ rise as a global LNG exporter. M&A and divestiture activities have also started picking up.
With the green shoots finally emerging, the industry may have reasons to hope for, and to some extent foresee, better times ahead.

The general confidence, however, does come with caution. The industry and allied stakeholders admit that the recent downturn will leave long-term effects on a number of aspects of the oil & gas sector. Therefore, the collective opinion is that moving forward, the industry will be defined by the way it adapts to the changes and responds to the salient issues confronting the sector.

Below, we take a look at a few talking points (on partnerships, shortening project cycles, and manpower) and shed light on certain business and operational strategies that oil & gas companies may espouse.

Strategic partnerships with specialists

The industry is increasingly seeing new forms of business alliances. The industry once dominated by generalist companies (or those that discover, develop and operate an oil or gas field and provide all other allied services) is evolving into one that features partnerships among specialists in specific aspects of the operating environment. Such a collaboration offers the opportunity to leverage the specialties of the various entities involved. It furthermore ensures that each relevant process within the operation is looked after by companies most able to manage them.

This is exemplified in the partnership of international oil companies and specialists, like British Petroleum (BP) and exploration company Kosmos to seek assets in Mauritania and Senegal. Then, there are oil-field services providers, like Schlumberger, Halliburton and Petrofac, which aligned with various oil & gas producers to offer their integrated field management services.

Oil & gas entities are also partnering with power services provider to ensure the continuous supply of electricity to their operations wherever they may be. The importance of electric power in oil & gas facilities cannot be understated, and by collaborating with reputable power providers, oil & gas companies can increase their production, avoid downtime and enhance operational efficiencies while minimizing operational expenditure.

A shift to shorter-cycle projects

At the height of the downturn, the industry saw a staggering USD 620 billion worth of projects through 2020 deferred or canceled. This fact epitomized the real risks of operating within the industry amidst the prevailing market situation. This, therefore, prompted oil & gas companies to train their sights on more viable shorter-cycle projects.

For oil & gas companies, dealing with shorter-cycle projects entailed a new mindset, a heightened attention to capital allocation and more innovative ways of doing business. For example, in shorter-term projects, it may no longer make sense to devote a large chunk of capital to permanent facilities, like power generation systems, which will only serve for a limited time. In this case, instead of building their own power plants, oil & gas companies can choose to rent temporary power plants for the duration of the project.

By renting power plants, oil & gas companies, like ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources, and Anadarko, will no longer need to invest a huge amount towards the construction and operation of a permanent facility, and will no longer have to grapple with substantial upfront costs. Oil & gas companies can conveniently pay for the rented electricity from their operational profits, and can easily plan for their financial allocation throughout the project because payment schedules are fixed and regular over a contracted term.

Once the project is over, the rented power plants can be rapidly demobilized by the power provider, thus leaving no permanent power facility not utilized or that will require further maintenance and service.

An encouraging manpower landscape

At the height of the downturn, oil & gas companies had to streamline operations to survive the recession. This resulted in massive job cuts, estimated to have affected more than 100,000 through November 2016.

On a positive note, the layoffs have ebbed in recent months, and encouraging numbers of oil-related postings for oil-producing states have started to manifest. But, despite the gradual increase in manpower requirements within the energy industry, most oil & gas companies remain lean and conservative in recruiting new employees.

This is another area where renting power can prove to be advantageous. A full temporary power service includes expert manpower to install, operate, maintain and service the power plants throughout the project. This means oil and gas companies will not need to hire, re-train or transfer employees to manage the power plants.

For more information on rental power solutions for the oil & gas industry, visit:

Marching on to the future

The oil & gas industry has proven time and again that it has the ability to reinvent itself in the face of challenging times. The tough last couple of years has prompted the oil & gas sector to tighten its belt in order to thrive in an environment of low oil prices. Looking to the future, the emerging oil & gas industry will largely depend on how it reacts to its new reality. With the appropriate business strategies and responses to prevailing industry issues, a more resilient sector can emerge from the rubbles of the downturn.


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Sources consulted:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Keep Engineers in Manufacturing Companies Engaged at Work

When engineers find their work environment motivating, they will continue to perform at their peak, and even surpass expectations

The role of engineers in manufacturing companies can never be understated. A manufacturing operation may involve engineers specializing in various fields, including product development, design & operation and electrical to name a few.

Product development engineers make ideas come to life. In companies like Apple, Samsung, or Microsoft, they are involved in turning concepts into actual products that consumers patronize and use.

Design and operation engineers design, develop and manage integrated systems for the production of high-quality products. These systems may include computer networks, robots, machine tools, and materials-handling equipment.

Electrical engineers make sure that the power supply in a manufacturing site is enough for the company to meet its production targets. This is of particular importance for industrial manufacturing businesses like ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, Boeing or Airbus. They maintain the power infrastructure and facilities within the manufacturing plant, or liaise with temporary electric power suppliers in times when the factory needs additional power, say during peak production seasons, or when load shedding or peak shaving are implemented in the area.

Whatever the area of specialization is, engineers play highly essential roles in manufacturing facilities, and as such, it is important to keep them motivated at work and retain their services. While there is not a world of difference between what keeps engineers engaged at work and what it takes to do that for any other member of the organization, paying keen attention to the unique motivational needs of engineers can spell a huge difference.

Here are some things to take into consideration in keeping engineers motivated in manufacturing companies:

1. Allow them to be free, creative

Engineers value a strong sense of autonomy and the freedom to choose how to approach various issues at work. They appreciate if they are given the opportunity to creatively resolve engineering-related challenges at work. Based on our experience with our electrical engineers, they thrive on a results-driven environment, and appreciate having a degree of independence to perform at their best with minimal supervision and instruction. They are also stimulated by a work environment that promotes and rewards innovative thought.  


2. They are not enticed by promotion

Okay, hold your horses. When I said that engineers are not enticed by promotion, I meant the type that follows a conventional progression across the company organization.

Many engineers in manufacturing companies, like in India’s Tata Motors or Tejas Networks, may not be interested in traditional leadership positions, because they may not want to manage other employees or sit in the office for hours on end – they just want to keep building and developing products, and maintain the challenge and dynamism of a thriving engineering career. It is possible that promoting them to a traditional manager will suppress their creative engineering process, and this may dampen their motivation at work. For example, if a manufacturing company promotes an electrical engineer (who is actively engaged in installing, running and maintaining onsite power generation facilities) to a conventional manager (who will spend eight hours of his day preparing documents and responding to e-mails), then it is the running the risk of demotivating the previously-engaged engineer.

Having said this, if an engineer really deserves a promotion, then let it be to a position that is equally energetic and stimulating, that will still require his engineering creativity and ingenuity.

3. For engineers, learning is an ending journey (Kaizen)

Manufacturing companies hire engineers because of the latter’s mastery of what they do. While they may already be specialists in their own fields, engineers are always hungry to learn more and do more.

Engineers flourish in environments where learning is a part of their daily life. As such, manufacturing companies should continuously offer them opportunities to improve on their skills and to apply new learnings through healthy challenges. Based on experience, our electrical engineers welcome specialized training courses on modern technologies and innovative methods, and situations that will require them to use the new knowledge that they have acquired. They also appreciate opportunities to mentor technicians or other engineers, because doing so helps them reinforce their engineering knowledge and, to a large extent, gives a deeper sense of purpose to their vocation as engineers.

4. Give them missions, not just projects

Engineers are driven by their desire to change the world. Most great engineers are motivated by working on big projects and by seeing the encompassing results of their hard work. Therefore, it is important that engineers in a manufacturing company realize the magnitude of the task given to them.

For example, it is essential that an electrical engineer in an industrial manufacturing facility, like Emirates Global Aluminium or Tata Steel, understands that without him performing his task, the plant will not have the power to produce goods, and as such the company will fail at providing its customers that products that they need. This will help him see the real-world impact of his responsibility within the production plant. The consciousness that his task has a meaningful effect to a great number of people and businesses will lead him to embrace his accountability and to value more his position within the company.


5. Let them have fun

Engineering tasks within a manufacturing company can be daunting and can put a huge amount of pressure on engineers. It will not hurt to inject a bit of fun.

It is, thus, important for manufacturing companies to encourage enjoyment and interaction at work. For example, they can organize a quarterly family day, when employees and their families can gather and enjoy a day at the park. They can also arrange a company lunch or dinner after a successful campaign or production season as a sign of appreciation of the employees’ work. They can also host an awards ceremony to recognize exemplary performance. A sports day is also a good idea to allow employees to unwind and engage each other in healthy competition.

Engineers represent an invaluable part of the overall success of a manufacturing business. Engineers possess an intellectual capacity and ability to generate innovation, and this is essential for manufacturing companies especially amidst escalating competition within an increasingly challenging market. The more that the management understands what drives the motivation of engineers, the better experience the engineering team will have in the manufacturing company. And the more encouraging their work environment, the bigger the chance that engineers will remain engaged at work, perform at their peak and surpass expectations.

For more information on the values that guide our operations and business & human resource practices, please visit:


This article has previously been published on

Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Divide and Conquer: How Decentralized Power Generation Can Alleviate Sub-Saharan Africa’s Electricity Challenges

Decentralized power facilities, sources that generate electricity much closer to the consumers, are touted to be vital in improving Sub-Saharan Africa’s power supply situation. We take a close look at their benefits.

It has been highlighted, time and again, that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to close to a billion people without access to reliable electricity. The region’s electricity challenges may be attributed to several factors, most notably to insufficient connectivity particularly in rural areas, and intermittent power supply.

A recent study by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network, illustrates that only 45% of rural areas enjoys access to the electric grid across 36 African countries considered. In fact, countries like Burundi, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Niger, Guinea, Liberia and Mali have extended the electricity grid to only a third or less of their territories. The inadequate grid extension and connectivity is stark in the West and East African countries, and in a number of Southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.

But, even as various areas in Sub-Saharan Africa are connected to national power network, they are still not guaranteed to receive a constant reliable supply of electricity. For instance, 14% of grid-connected consumers in South Africa, 44% in Zimbabwe, 33% in Zambia, 23% in Botswana, 19% in Namibia and 15% in Kenya, say they still suffer from regular power outages and load shedding. This can be largely attributed to inadequate power generation, high transmission losses, and limitations in power distribution.

A case for Decentralized Power

Decentralized power generation systems can help countries in Sub-Saharan Africa alleviate their present power generation and transmission challenges. Several technologies can be implemented as a decentralized power generation system, including solar, wind, hydro, and temporary power plants running on diesel or gas.

Decentralized power generation systems will prove beneficial on several levels to Sub-Saharan African countries. Below are some of the highlight advantages of decentralized power generation technologies:


Decentralized power generation systems, like rental power plants, can be easily mobilized, installed and operated anywhere in the world, even in the remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. They can even be installed in areas without sub-stations, and can be directly connected to the grid regardless of its quality or age.

They can be completed and powered on in a matter of days, and can be rapidly demobilized once the area of service is already connected to the permanent centralized power plant. They do not require a huge upfront investment, and as such, do not have long payback periods. Instead, governments or power utility providers can pay for the rented electricity in regular intervals over a contracted term.

An example is Altaaqa Global’s natural gas temporary power plants in Douala, Cameroon, which were installed and powered on in as little as 21 days from the time the equipment arrived at the intended sites. The power plants, because they comprised modular and containerized power equipment, were easily delivered from the point of origin in the Middle East, to the port in Douala, to the power plant sites, and were successfully installed despite space limitation.

The power plants have been consistently producing a combined 50 MW since they were turned on, easing the pressure on the main grid and reducing electricity demand at peak times. They have been instrumental in lessening the power supply deficiency and reducing the instances of load shedding in Douala.


Temporary power plants, as a decentralized power generation system, are highly scalable in that their output can be increased or decreased depending on the prevailing requirement. The power provider can simply add or subtract generators to or from the power plants to customize their output. The result is that the rental power plants generate the exact amount of electricity as demanded, so the power plants do not inefficiently run on part-load, and that the governments or the power utility providers do not pay for unutilized capacity.


As above, there are several technologies that can be implemented as decentralized power generations systems. The good news is these technologies may complement each other to ensure their efficiency and reliability. For example, temporary diesel or gas power plants can support solar or wind energy sources at times when sunshine or wind is insufficient to produce the desired amount of electricity. Rental power plants can also take up the electricity load during low-rain or dry seasons, when the hydropower systems have limitations in producing electricity.

Efficiency and Reliability

The US Energy Information Administration reports that up to 7% of the electricity generated by central power plants is lost in transmission and distribution. Turning to decentralized power generation technologies, like temporary power plants, can reduce the transmission and distribution losses because they are installed nearer to the consumers.

Moreover, rental power plants are regularly serviced and maintained by trained and qualified service engineers and technicians, and monitored and evaluated by competent certification bodies so their optimal energy performance and reliability is guaranteed.

For instance, Altaaqa Global’s 50 MW natural gas power plants in Cameroon have recently been awarded an ISO 50001:2011 certification for energy performance, making Altaaqa Global the first and only rental power company to have received the recognition. The plaudit was a testament to the power plants’ energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness and environmental stewardship.

In addition to the above, decentralized power generation technologies can support various environmental initiatives in vigor in several Sub-Saharan African countries due to their environmental conscious operations. As a case-in point, temporary power plants running on natural gas comply with worldwide emission standards, while solar or wind power sources are completely renewable and contribute in conserving natural energy resources.

For example, Altaaqa Global’s natural gas temporary power plants in Cameroon was handpicked by Eneo to support its existing power facilities, owing to their reliability, energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, which perfectly fits Cameroon’s sustainable energy initiatives.

Electricity and Africa’s Development Agenda

As an emerging region, Sub-Saharan Africa needs electricity to support its economic priorities and other development areas. At present, even as the economic focus of governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are in areas directly related to basic issues of livelihood (employment, healthcare, water supply and agriculture), they are gradually working on various initiatives to ensure the region’s energy future. While their long-terms plans are coming to fruition, decentralized electricity technologies, like rental power plants, can supplement existing centralized power facilities to provide the electricity when and where needed.


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Defiant Stance: MENA’s Continued Investment in Oil & Gas

Amidst concerns of superfluity and suppressed prices, approximately USD 294 billion of oil, gas and petrochemical projects are said to be underway across the MENA region

The persistently low oil prices, not helped by the observed conflict in certain parts of the region, has weighed heavily on the economic prospect of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The International Monetary Fund forecasts the overall growth of the region for this year and the next to be in the area of a mere 3.2%.

But, amidst the depressing economic projection, concerns of superfluity and stubbornly suppressed prices, approximately USD 294 billion of oil, gas and petrochemical projects are said to still be underway across the MENA region.

Spotlight: Select Regional Developments in the Oil & Gas Sector

Investment in oil & gas operations remains to be a crucial focus of oil producers in the MENA region to meet exponentially rising energy demands and to replace consumed or depleted natural resources.
As a case in point, let us take a close look at major oil & gas developments brewing in the region.

Driven by its objective to expand is gas capacity, the UAE is now looking to develop new sour gas reservoirs. This is said to include major projects in the Bab and Hail fields, as well as the expansion of the Shah gas field.

Saudi Arabia is home to two of the region’s largest oil & gas projects underway: Sabic’s oil-to-chemicals project and Aramco’s integrated refinery and petrochemicals development, both in Yanbu. Additionally, Aramco is said to be planning to pour in USD 334 billion into its oil & gas activities by 2025. The world’s largest oil & gas company is reportedly keen at looking at expanding its gas capacity, which includes the development of non-associated gas fields in the Gulf and expanding shale gas production in the north.

Saudi Arabia is also reportedly planning to list Saudi Aramco in the stock market, with an IPO that values the company at a staggering USD 2 trillion.

For its part, Kuwait is expected to invest USD 115 billion on energy projects over the next several years to help enhance crude production capacity, keeping in mind its target of four million barrels a day by 2020.

A Time of Conviction with Caution

It is clear that oil producers and allied stakeholders in the MENA region remain undaunted by the bleak market outlook and the headwinds blowing against the global oil & gas sector. Looking at the slew of oil & gas projects in the pipeline, it is not difficult to see the region’s conviction to satisfy domestic and international energy demands, achieve energy production objectives, and maintain its role as the world’s premier energy resource provider.

But in these economically trying times, it is essential for oil & gas companies in the MENA region to practice caution by controlling costs while capitalizing on expansion prospects and profitable opportunities. Oil & gas companies in the region, the likes of the UAE’s Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), should ensure the efficient utilization of their working capital while the industry is still on its way to recovery.

One area of operation where oil & gas companies can make significant adjustments to their capital expenditure is power generation.

While electricity remains one of the most important components of an oil & gas operation, regional oil producers do not have to confine themselves with devoting a significant portion of their scarce capital to a major expenditure, like a permanent power plant. Instead of building their own power generation facility, oil & gas companies can choose to hire temporary power plants.

By turning to rental power, oil & gas companies can have a consistent, dependable and sufficient supply of electricity throughout the lifecycle of their operations without the need to strap a large portion of their funds to a permanent facility. Temporary power plants can adequately provide for the power needs of various processes of an oil and gas operation, from exploration and extraction, through to development and processing.

Aside from savings in capital expenditure, renting power will also have an impact on the allocation of funds for an oil & gas project. Regional oil majors, such as the Iraq’s North Oil Company and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, will welcome the fact that payment schedules for the rented power are fixed and regular over a contracted term. This will help them in formulating accurate financial forecasts.

Moreover, a complete rental power service includes all ancillary and spare parts, as well as expert on-site engineers and technicians. This means that oil & gas companies will be shielded from additional costs that come with building a permanent power plant, and that they no longer have to hire, train or re-allocate staff members to manage the power plant.

For more information on rental power for oil & gas operations, visit:

Bucking the Trend

In defiance of growth forecasts and of the impacts of global oversupply that prompted a sharp fall in oil prices since 2014, oil producers in the MENA region have been continuously investing in the oil, gas and petrochemical sector. While global oil & gas spend is expected to continue to decline, oil producers in the MENA region are looking to buck the trend and to continue pouring funds into the industry to maintain capacity and fulfill ambitious production targets. But while the oil & gas sector is still regaining its old glory, regional industry stakeholders are expected to restrain their aggression with a bit of caution.


Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Sources consulted:$294b-in-oil-and-gas-projects

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Case for Distributed Power Systems in Southeast Asia

The observed inadequacy in the region’s current electricity infrastructure have prompted Southeast Asian countries to find power solutions in various forms of distributed power generation

Rapid economic development, a continuous growth in population, and increased domestic and foreign investments across key industries have all contributed to the remarkable increase in Southeast Asia’s power consumption in recent years. The region’s power demand has risen by 2.5 times in the past 20 years, and by 2040, Southeast Asia’s electricity requirements is likely to triple, for which an additional power generation capacity of approximately 400 GW is said to be required.

In the interest of maintaining a healthy economy and attracting further foreign investment and activities, countries in Southeast Asia have ramped up their spending in infrastructure, including in roads, railways, and residential and commercial facilities. This, among other factors, has caused the region’s power demand to exponentially expand. And while Southeast Asian governments and allied stakeholders are also funding the building of new or the refurbishment of existing power facilities to support long-term electricity requirements, the current shortage in power supply within the region, not helped by constrained transmission and distribution facilities, is making it challenging to satisfy the immediate electricity demand.

The observed inadequacy in the current power infrastructure, delays in the construction of permanent power generation facilities, and the heightened need to fulfill the region’s immediate power requirements have prompted Southeast Asian countries to find solutions in distributed power generation. 

Distributed Power Generation in Southeast Asia

According to global research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, the overall installed capacity of the distributed power generation market in Southeast Asia is in the area of 20,450 MW in 2015, which can scale up to 34,747 MW by 2020.

Among the countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are considered to be high-potential territories for distributed power based on market potential and available resources. For instance, in the Philippines and Indonesia, distributed power generation facilities can rapidly bring power to provinces that are currently not connected to the countries’ national grids due to isolation and remoteness. While in Myanmar, distributed power generation systems can provide electricity to smaller load centers, considering that the country’s overall electrification rate is only 26% and the transmission line losses stands at 25%.

Moreover, more than 60% of the land in Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam are greatly suitable for large-scale solar farms, with substantial irradiance levels between 1,200 kWh/m2/year and 2,000 kWh/m2/year. Overall, Southeast Asia is touted to have an annual global horizontal irradiance ranging from 1,200 kWh/m2 to 1,800 kWh/m2, making the region highly ideal for developing solar power plants.

Key Types of Distributed Power Systems Installed in Southeast Asia

The key types of distributed power facilities installed in the region include biomass and waste-to-power, solar photovoltaic, and diesel/HFO/gas temporary rental power plants. Hybrid power plants and micro-grid systems are reportedly also being developed.

Biomass and waste-to-power plants are ideal to supply the captive power needs of small- and medium-scale industries. This type of distributed power system enjoys wide government support across Southeast Asia, and benefits from abundant biomass resources, particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Solar PV facilities, on the other hand, are gaining ground across the region, thanks to policy support and incentives. Thailand is at the forefront of the solar PV market in Southeast Asia, with an estimated capacity additions of approximately one GW in 2015 alone.

Temporary power plants running on diesel or HFO still dominate the rental power segment in Southeast Asia, owing to significant cost-savings, rapid installation, wide availability of fuel, and inherent flexibility of use. Temporary power plants running on gas are also gaining popularity in the region, in recognition of their cost and environmental benefits.

By going for the rental power option, one avoids the need for a significant upfront investment, and the long lead times associated with the construction of permanent power generation facilities.
Industry studies conducted across Southeast Asia reveal that a permanent centralized power plant may take around five to ten years to become fully operational due to the obstacles created by environmental laws in the region and land acquisition requirements, compounded by overall construction delays. While waiting for the power plants to be constructed and activated, power companies in Southeast Asia, the likes of Meralco and the National Power Corporation in the Philippines, or the Perusahaan Listrik Negara in Indonesia and the Vietnam Electricity Company, will find numerous benefits in setting up temporary rental power plants to meet the immediate power demands of their countries.

Temporary power plants are also scalable, in that its output can be tailored to the existing electricity demand of a community, a city or a province. They can also be installed even in areas with limited power infrastructure, say where substations are absent, because they can be directly connected to the grid having been equipped with the latest protection systems and advanced transformation and switching equipment.

When the permanent power plants are completed, the rental power plants can be easily and completely demobilized, thus leaving no power facility not used or that will require further maintenance and servicing.

For more information on temporary power plants on diesel, gas or bi-fuel, please visit:

The Growth of Distributed Power in Southeast Asia

As Southeast Asian economies continue to grow in the coming years, the region’s demand for electricity will proportionally increase. While the region’s governments are implementing long-term programs to respond to future power needs, power utilities in Southeast Asia, including Tenaga Nasional in Malaysia or the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, can take advantage of the availability of distributed power generation systems, like temporary power plants. Distributed power facilities can help overcome topographical challenges in delivering power, circumvent power transmission and distribution limitations, and boost the electrification rates of various countries in Southeast Asia.


Sources consulted:

“Distributed Power Generation Enables Power Plants to Rapidly Address the Demand for Power in Southeast Asia”. Frost & Sullivan.

Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Central Asia: An Emerging Player in the Global Oil & Gas Energy Sector

Central Asia, with the rapid development of its oil & gas sectors, is coming to the fore of the global energy landscape. 

In the past several years, Central Asia has been gaining prominence in the global energy sector. While the Middle East remains to be the vital energy exporter to key markets across the world, the recent development of Central Asia’s energy and oil & gas facilities has allowed it to increasingly perform a significant part in delivering the energy needs of crucial markets.

Central Asia, comprising the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan, has, in fact, long possessed immense volumes of oil and natural gas. It has estimated reserves of between 110 billion and 240 billion barrels of crude oil, valued at around USD 4 trillion. Unfortunately, they had largely remained underdeveloped due to lack of infrastructure. Owing to this, it was tremendously difficult for regional energy producers to transform the region’s raw natural resources to profitable output and to find suitable methods of delivery to target markets around the world.

With the presence of Soviet influence over the Central Asia’s energy sector, the region’s oil and gas resources were predominantly delivered to Russia, and from there channeled to other markets of Western Europe. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Central Asian states sought to open their energy resources to new markets and started to take progressive initiatives to diversify their export destinations.

The instrumental partnerships: China

Central Asia’s quest to develop its energy sector on the heels of the fall of the Soviet Union was largely met with various challenges. The region’s perceived geopolitical risks, lack of industrial and civil infrastructure, and demographic difficulties had all reined in the development of its oil and gas industry.

In recent years, however, the tide has dramatically turned for Central Asia, as it found important energy partners in its neighbors, most notably in China. Aside from being a viable final point of trade, China’s investment towards Central Asia largely contributed to the rapid development of the region’s oil & gas resources, and in the stark regeneration and expansion of its energy market.

China has been actively involved in various oil & gas projects in Central Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan, funding construction works and supplying technology and equipment, mostly to the upstream sector. Investing in Central Asia’s energy industry is a key component of China’s strategy to strengthen its oil & gas sector to, first, meet domestic energy demand and, then, export high-value energy products to key markets of the world.

China controls an estimated 20% of Kazakhstan’s oil production, and has participated in the construction of one of the world’s most extensive oil pipelines, stretching 2,300 km from the Caspian Sea to Xinjiang province. The China National Petroleum Corporation maintains a significant stake in the Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea, while other Chinese companies control several strategic oil fields around Aktobe, a city in the west of Kazakhstan.

China also has a significant participation in Kazakhstan’s most successful oil & gas companies. Some of the regional energy companies with Chinese holdings include MangystauMunaiGaz, CNPC-AktobeMunaiGas, KazGerMunay, KarazhanbasMunay, PetroKazakhstan, Buzachi Operating, Turgay Petroleum, Caspian Petroleum Company, Kazakhoil Aktobe, and KarakudukMunai.

Aside from Kazakhstan, China has also become a significant customer and partner for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Regional energy companies, such as Tajiktransgaz and Uzbekneftergaz have signed agreements with China National Petroleum Corporation to cooperate in the construction of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline that facilitates the delivery of Central Asia’s gas resources to China.

Aside from Chinese oil & gas firms, Central Asia has also attracted international oil & gas majors to participate in geological surveys, exploratory activities and other energy-related processes. These include ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Conoco, and Eni.

The power to go further

The partnership with international oil & gas firms, particularly with those from China, has clearly accelerated Central Asia’s emergence as a significant player in the world energy market. The development of new energy infrastructure, exploration facilities, refineries and large-scale pipeline projects are expected to continue in the coming years, with more deals being signed among the Central Asian countries and prospective international investors.

Now, more than ever, a reliable source of electrical energy will be necessary to provide power to the existing energy facilities and to the future infrastructure construction projects in Central Asia. With market opportunities abound, Central Asia cannot afford to slow down at the risk of losing its momentum. This is the time when Central Asia needs a reliable power partner that can provide suitable power generation technologies to its energy and oil & gas market.

Temporary power plants represent a power generation technology highly suitable to Central Asia’s oil and gas market. They can be delivered and installed anywhere in the world, even in remote areas where oil & gas facilities are usually located or constructed. They can be configured in various ways so that they fit even in the limited spaces that are usually left available in oil & gas facilities.

They are highly scalable so that they can provide the precise amount of power needed in the different processes of an oil & gas operation. For example, an oil & gas operator can opt to start with a small power plant during the less energy-intensive stages, and then ramp up its capacity as operations expand and as processes require more power. This is particularly important for oil & gas investors because this eliminates the need to invest in permanent power plants at the early stages, which can be left inefficiently running at part-load most of the time.

Modern rental power plants are equipped with cutting-edge protection systems that ensure a safe operation within oil & gas facilities. Additionally, they will be expertly installed, operated and maintained by certified electrical engineers from the service provider so oil & gas operators can rest assured that the power plants will remain efficient and reliable throughout the service.

For more information on the benefits of temporary power for oil & gas operations, please visit:

 The remarkable potential

Industry insiders say that Central Asia is set to become a dominant player in the global energy market. Central Asia possesses some of the world’s largest oil & gas fields, and though several of which are already being developed, there still remain many areas in the region where a substantial potential exists. As the region’s oil & gas sector is further developed by future regional and international investments, Central Asia will progressively gain prominence as a major producer of energy and fuels, and as a vital energy transportation link between various regions of Eurasia.


*This article has been previsouly published at,

Sources consulted:

Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505