KMG EP pledges to employ laid-off Zhanaozen workers

December 26. Interfax-Kazakhstan. Astana

KMG EP pledges to employ laid-off Zhanaozen workersKazMunayGas Exploration Production (KMG EP) sets up a drilling company to employ laid-off oil workers from Zhanaozen (a town in Mangistau region).

“We’ve met with the unemployed oil workers and promised to create an advanced drilling company, moreover that we have plans to expand drilling operations. But the program must be a really effective one and involve some investors to create something different from that we already have. People, however, are not eager to take this job, they demand us to give them their old jobs back, but we cannot dismiss those who are currently employed and performing well. Some people are still hesitating to apply, others have agreed, though,” said KMG EP CEO Alik Aidarbayev at a meeting with bloggers in Zhanaozen.

He noted that a total of 991 people had been laid off.

“We will keep in contact with those who refused to accept this job offer and look for a compromise,” said Aidarbayev.

KMG EP CEO also noted that the trainings for the management would be the next step for the company to pursue.

“During all that time, managers have not been trained or briefed how to communicate with the personnel. Earlier the company has ignored such needs and overlooked many such issues due to the multiple costs optimization schemes. But, now we will reverse that,” he said.

He also highlighted the need for a Professional Manager Code of Ethics for the group KMG EP companies.

“We need to introduce a Manger Code, as we take part of the blame for the recent events. The main mistake was the lack of dialogue, though the other side has something to think about as well. The president made a statement and some people were punished. However, it is not the time to sprinkle ashes upon our heads. We need to keep working,” he concluded.

KMG EP, a subsidiary of the KazMunayGas national company, was created in March 2004 as result of a merger of two KazMunayGas subsidiaries – EmbaMunayGas and OzenMunayGas.

KMG EP is among the top three Kazakh oil and gas producers. The company’s ordinary shares are traded on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange.

* * *

Rioters in Zhanaozen were drunk, each paid 20,000 tenge – Kazakh president

December 26. Interfax

The instigators of and participants in last week’s riots in Zhanaozen, a town in the Mangystau region in western Kazakhstan, were drunk, and each of them was paid 20,000 tenge (or about $135), Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

“Each of those young people was given 20,000 tenge and each was made drunk. We will seriously investigate this affair and analyze each death individually,” Nazarbayev said at a Friday meeting with residents of Zhanaozen, a report on which was shown on the state-run television channel Khabar.

“We will look for the organizers [of the riots], whatever spot in the world they hide. They will stand trial, and those found guilty will be punished,” he said.

“The oil workers who were just lured by the crowd effect will be released, if they are innocent,” he said.

Nazarbayev offered his condolences to the families of the dead.

“I have come here to express my condolences to the families of the dead, but you know perfectly how this all happened. Peaceful people came to attend a fest, and some drunk and armed instigators joined this mass. Everything was done deliberately, and policemen did not have a single firearm at the moment, and they were hit in the head, and when they would fall down and when someone wanted to help them, no one was admitted there,” Nazarbayev said.

“Policemen had to return to their headquarters and arm themselves,” he said.

“And what else were they supposed to do? They have a legitimate right to use weapons if they are attacked. However, regardless of anything, the police shot in the air as long as they could. When this didn’t work, they started to shoot at the ground. But the instigators started pushing the people forward,” Nazarbayev said.

The president also promised that Zhanaozen residents will be provided with jobs.

Last week’s mass riots in Zhanaozen and the village of Shetpe claimed the lives of 16 people and left more than 100 injured.

The Kazakh Interior Ministry blamed workers fired by local oil companies for provoking the unrest.