ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS APPEAL TO THE CASPIAN PIPELINE CONSORTIUM TO SUSPEND THE TRANSPORT OF OIL FROM THE KARACHAGANAK FIELD
January 28, 2005
Caspian Pipeline Consortium
353900, Krasnodarsk Krai
Novorossisk, ul. Vidova, 1A
Tel.: +7 (8617) 61-15-64
Fax: +7 (8617) 61-26-90
Ploshad Evropy, 2
Tel.: +7 (095) 745-87-70
Fax: +7 (095) 745-87-72
Cc: The Caspian Pipeline Consortium Shareholders:
Government of the Russian Federation
Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Sultanate of Oman
Chevron Caspian Pipeline Consortium Company
Rosneft-Shell Caspian Ventures Limited
Mobil Caspian Pipeline Company
Agip International (N.A.) N.V.
BG Overseas Holding Limited
Kazakhstan Pipeline Ventures LLC
Oryx Caspian Pipeline LLC
Dear Mr. MacDonald:
As of May 2004, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) began transporting hydrocarbon reserves from the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field, located in the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Western Kazakhstan Oblast.
The extraction of hydrocarbon reserves from the Karachaganak Field is accompanied by serious human rights and environmental safety violations; violations that increase in intensity with each year. Tens of thousands of residents of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation experience severe health consequences as a result of toxic substances emitted into the atmosphere from the Karachaganak Field. In addition, their land is subject to degradation and traditional land use (agriculture and cattle breeding) has been disrupted by the deterioration of the quality of the land.
The legally recognized demands by local residents to be relocated and receive compensation have been ignored; accurate information on the state of the environment has been concealed, and attempts by residents to obtain independent information about the pollution of their environment and the state of their own health have led to illegal, strong-arm tactics on the part of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s law enforcement structure.
Following are a few points to illustrate the situation:
- Over the past few years, the residents of the village of Berezovka (Kazakhstan) have requested that the authorities relocate the village because it fell within the Field’s Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ). Instead, on January 1, 2004, the SPZ was reduced (so that Berezovka is no longer included in the SPZ), despite the fact that the residents experience the harmful health effects of toxic airborne emissions from the Field.
- Over 100 residents from the village of Tungush (Kazakhstan), which was relocated from the SPZ, should have received financial compensation no later than July 1, 2004, in accordance with a court decision. They have received no compensation to date.
- On December 14, 2004, representatives from the Berezovka initiative group and the environmental organizations TAN and Crude Accountability requested reports on the status of the environment around the Karachaganak Field from the Western Kazakhstan Oblast Ecology Department. Despite the fact that this information must be made publicly available upon request (in accordance with Kazakhstani law and the Aarhus Convention, to which Kazakhstan is a signatory), this request was refused.
- Government environmental inspections in Orenburg Oblast (Russia) regularly document, through officially recognized monitoring methods, that pollution exceeds acceptable concentrations in the air surrounding the population centers of Zatonnoe, Privolnoe and Ilek, all situated northeast of the Field. In particular, on October 30, 2004, the level of hydrogen sulfide was documented at 2.6 times higher than the acceptable concentration. Karachaganak Petroleum B.V. (KPO) and the Western Kazakhstan Oblast Ecology Department report that their environmental monitoring services did not note any chemicals exceeding the acceptable concentration at the border of the SPZ in 2004.
As representatives of environmental organizations in the countries of the Caspian region, in countries that consume Caspian oil, and in countries worldwide, we urge you and the CPC shareholders to make a formal decision to no longer transport hydrocarbon reserves extracted from the Karachaganak Field until the violations to human rights, including the right to a healthy environment, are eliminated.
We are certain that the economic interests of your shareholders and the benefits obtained by oil consumers need not be based upon the misfortunes and suffering of local people in Kazakhstan and Russia.
Please send your reply to Aleksey Yurevich Knizhnikov by mail to 117463, Moscow, P.O. Box 111, and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Crude Accountability – International
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Center for Environmental Public Advocacy
North Caucasus Environmental Watch
WEED: World Economy, Ecology & Development
Environment and Development Service for NGOs
Ecological Society “Green Salvation”
For the Earth
Centrum pro dopravu a energetiku
National Ecological Centre of Ukraine
Friends of the Earth – US