To preserve the peninsula energetics’ safety is a principal task for Crimea. Thus a development project by ‘Chernomorneftegas’, a mining company nationalized and transferred under Crimea’s control in March this year, shall become the issue of special importance.
A couple of weeks ago Sergey Beim was appointed CEO of the ‘Chernomorneftegas’. He has been known in Crimea as a former Crimean MP and one of the founders and owners of biggest Crimean corporation ‘TES’ specialized in oil trading as well as refueling stations and hotel management. In the two years prior to the ‘Crimean spring’ the Beims family was subjected to a very strong pressure from the authorities. For several times Sergey, along with his elderly father Gennady, was under arrest, then released on a large bail, accused of misusing the leased property, mostly the oil terminal the ‘TES’ has built on its own means in the Kerch’ seaport.
Meanwhile, the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ has largely spoiled its reputation in the last years of Ukrainian domination. The tenders it had conducted nourished a special media interest, and not that of the law enforcement bodies. For they were won by the firms registered in a few days prior to submission of documents for the tender and having literally neither harrow nor barrow. Nevertheless, they have got supply contracts for many kilometers of pipes as well as for mining equipment. There were ‘Boyko’s derricks’ which have constituted a special chapter in the company’s history for being purchased for 800 millions of budget dollars while having a real price of approximately 440 millions. As the Ukrainian media reported, the counterparty of ‘Naftogas of Ukraine’ under the contract has proven to be a Latvian unemployed man.
Even during the Russian sovereignty over Crimea a multimillion-dollar theft was revealed. It is verified that each day (!) nearly 100 tons of gas condensate extracted were bypassing any documentation. Id est, this stolen flammable liquid has been used to dilute the fuel on the refueling stations of Crimea. You may conclude what it could result for the quality of petrol, if to call the obtained mixture by this name.
S. Beim, born in Simferopol, is known to the market players as many year CEO of the ‘TES’ corporation, which includes 68 refueling stations
Sergei Beim has just delved into the nature of tender purchases made within a month before his coming into the company. He feels flabbergasted: ‘It’s catastrophic. People did not think with their heads, with no body part at all! They all are not patriots of neither Crimea, nor Russia’, he says. Some staffers from the procurement department are fired, and the revision continues.
Nonetheless, the hydrocarbons extraction rate increases on the Crimean shelf. According to Beim, ‘the gas the enterprise produces today is enough, let’s say loosely, for Crimea’s needs’. By the beginning of next year it is planned to augment the daily gas production from today’s 5,36 millions of cubic meters to 6 millions. There are all preconditions to do it.
From the start of Crimean period of ‘Chernomorneftegas’ history, namely since March 26 this year, 1,1 billion cubic meters of natural gas have been produced, which is by 1,4 per cent above the planned level. The prospect for extraction of liquid hydrocarbons, oil and gas is exceeded by 3,2 per cent.
Respectively, 1,26 billion cubic meters of gas have been pumped into Glebovskoye underground storage, the quantity constituting usual annual volume sufficient for Crimea to normally pass the heating season even once there is a hard winter to come.
Sergey Beim affirms that in the near three or four months the enterprise will solve a number of technological issues, whereupon the gas production will increase by 5-7 per cent. Also some new oil wells will be mastered which would later lead to 3-4 per cent of production increment. The gas transmission system, though joined to that of Ukraine, might operate in standalone mode, so there are no possible threats and ‘tripping’ from the Ukrainian side. Because of this, the domestic gas should be ‘enough for a hassle-free life in Crimea’.
A menace from the sea is also excluded, for the platforms for oil and gas extraction in the Black sea are guarded by the ships of Russian Black Sea fleet. Beim abstained from talking on the number and type of warships taking part in protection of the platforms, referring to that it is not CEO but company’s security service which is responsible for interacting with the fleet.
The shelf-produced gas is transported to the customers and is pumped into the Glebovskoye underground storage. But along with the gas they also extract oil, and, under the scheme depicted by Beim, it gets to the oil plants situated near the city of Kerch’ for refining. There two kinds of production are made of it, of which that of heating oil type is assigned to be sold to the Crimean enterprise ‘Teplocommunenergo’, which has some boiler units running on heating oil. The other product is marine fuel of low viscosity which the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ itself utilizes on it’s ships.
There is another circumstance: the plants already existing cannot produce gasoline out of Crimean oil and they cannot be remodeled for such operations. Although there are some perspectives to built a new oil refinement plant, which are connected with the production dynamics on the Subbotinskoye field, it is still untimely to definitely speak of it, says Beim. He reminded, Shell and BP were contesting once for this field. And in the future, when they lift the sanctions, any Russian oil major will be able to carry out production there jointly with the ‘Chernomorneftegas’.
While speaking about co-operation between the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ and other Russian extractive companies, Sergei Beim stressed that the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ will not transform into any of ‘Gazprom’ structure subdivisions. The Crimean company, however, intends to run a joint project with the ‘Gazprom’ within the frames of laying the ‘South Stream’ gas pipeline. It is supposed to pass near the Tuzla foreland. Compliant to the project developed by ‘Shelf’, a Crimea’s research and design institute, two pipelines, each of 16 kilometers by length, will lay along the Black Sea bottom and connect the South Stream pipeline with the Crimean gas transporting system. This should serve as an assurance for energetic security of the Crimea republic in case of emergency on the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ control and distribution points.
Within a set of measures for ensuring energetic security, it is also planned, in the near future, to construct several power stations in Crimea. The CEO of ‘Chernomorneftegas’ is not so far ready to state that the company will participate in these projects by gas supplies. But he is confident that these projects of Republic’s development will provide the use of marginal wells’ hydrocarbons, which extraction still has not brought any real benefits. For the purpose of heat and electricity supplies of surroundings, cogeneration units will be set up in those areas. In Beim’s opinion, it would be an important task for the company in the next two years.
Thus Sergei Beim is sure that two years later under his governance the ‘Chernomorneftegas’ ‘will flourish and have no need in anything’.
Tamara Lapshinskaya, SIMPHEROPOL