Scholarship students from Kurdistan commence their studies at the National Mineral Resources University, St Petersburg

Gazprom Neft Scholarship students from Kurdistan will begin their studies in Oil and Gas Geology and Oilfield Development at the National Mineral Resources University, St Petersburg, from 1 September 2015 — the future students having completed a seven-month academic programme at the university’s Foundation Department and successfully passing the examinations.

The Gazprom Neft Middle East Scholarship Program educational initiative is being managed by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazprom Neft Middle East, currently implementing exploration and production projects at three license blocks throughout the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). On successful completion of their studies, these young professionals will be offered employment at Gazprom Neft enterprises throughout Iraq — fulfilling the company’s long-term objective of increasing the number of local professionals employed, over the next five to seven years.

A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Natural Resources visited St Petersburg in summer 2015, during which time delegates met with senior management of Gazprom Neft, as well as the Kurdish students. A second round of competitive selection for participants in the scholarship programme (to be held by Gazprom Neft, together with the Natural Resources University, St Petersburg), is planned for August 2015. A further eight talented young professionals from Kurdistan will be given the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious technical institutions in Russia.

Mikhail Kholodov, CEO, Gazprom Neft Middle East BV commented: “One of the company’s most important corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the KRI concerns educational projects. The Gazprom Neft Middle East Scholarship Program, established in 2014, has proved its success, with its participants consistently showing excellent results. In a few years we expect to to have among our ranks a number of young oil and gas industry specialists familiar with the specific challenges of working in the Middle East. We are also delighted to see that this project appears to be highly rated by residents of the KRI, by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and by local government. This, beyond any doubt, is having a very positive impact regarding the reputation of our company’s projects abroad.” 


Gazprom Neft is currently involved in three projects in the Republic of Iraq, two of which are located in the Kurdistan Region.

Gazprom Neft Middle East has interests in the Garmian and Shakal blocks, holding an 80-percent interest in the Shakal field (the remainder being held by the Kurdistan Regional Government). Two exploration wells have now been drilled at the Shakal block, with additional 3D seismic investigations now completed, and analysis and interpretation of the data obtained now coming to completion. Preparations are underway for a workover of the Shakal-1 well.

Gazprom Neft’s interest in the Garmian block stands at 40 percent. The Sarqala field at the Garmian block was commissioned in May 2016 and oil production commenced.

Gazprom Neft’s third project in Iraq concerns the development of the Badra field, located in the Wassit province, in the east of the country. Preliminary investigations suggest reserves at the Badra field could total as much as three billion barrels of oil. Gazprom Neft is operator on this project, with a 30-percent interest. Commercial production at the Badra field commenced in August 2014.

Gazprom Neft implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes throughout all of those regions in which it operates, undertaking initiatives directed at improving quality of life for local populations. In particular, under the auspices of its Middle East Scholarship Program Gazprom Neft Middle East has, since 2014, arranged educational programmes for 32 Kurdish students, selected through competition, at some of the most significant academic establishments in Russia. 

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