Crude Accountability letter to KPO

CRUDE ACCOUNTABILITY LETTER TO KPO (February 28, 2006)

Mr. Paulo Campelli
General Director
Karachaganak Petroleum Operating, B.V.
Kazakhstan Branch
Aksai 418440
Burlin Region
West Kazakhstan Oblast
Kazakhstan

February 28, 2006

Dear Mr. Campelli:

In a letter to Crude Accountability, dated January 20, 2006, Mr. Rashad Kaldany, Director of the Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), informed us about a number of efforts he stated were currently being developed or underway at KPO regarding the environmental situation at Karachaganak. He stated that KPO was seeking to cooperate with Crude Accountability and the Berezovka Initiative Group on a number of projects. I am writing to follow up on that letter and to learn more, directly from you, about the nature of the proposed activities.

In Mr. Kaldany’s letter, he stated:

KPO commissioned an independent air quality study by a scientific organisation with extensive international experience (the non-profit Batelle Memorial Institute), as a complement to its own monitoring program. The results of the Batelle study, which was performed in accordance with the highest internationally accepted scientific standards (for both data collection and analysis), have recently become available.

Crude Accountability and the Berezovka Initiative Group kindly request that copies of this study be sent to our organizations and to the village residents of Berezovka as soon as possible. We also request that the study be made available in English and Russian.

Mr. Kaldany’s letter stated:

KPO is now in the process of preparing and providing translations of the Batelle study to all the villages neighboring the field.

Unfortunately, at present Ms. Svetlana Anosova, Head of the Berezovka Initiative Group, has not yet seen the study. Could you inform us of when the translation will be completed and provided to all the villages?

Mr. Kaldany’s letter also stated:

KPO has now offered to collaborate with local communities and other stakeholders on the joint design and implementation of an ongoing additional program of scientifically sound ambient air quality monitoring, whose accuracy, reliability and independence can be accepted by all parties. As part of this stakeholder partnership initiative, KPO has specifically stated its interest in an active contribution from members of civil society, including the Initiative Group of the residents of Berezovka and Crude Accountability.

We are pleased to learn of KPO’s interest in engaging in such a joint effort to monitor the emissions of the field, which we believe are necessary to address the serious concerns the Berezovka Initiative Group and Crude Accountability have raised about emissions from the Karachaganak Field over the course of the past two years. You may remember that Crude Accountability stated, in a letter dated May 26, 2005, its interest in working together with KPO to address the concerns raised by the CAO office of the IFC in its report from April 2005. We were disappointed not to have received a response to that letter, and hope that we can now engage in joint, positive activity at Karachaganak.

We would be interested in receiving in written form your suggestions for joint environmental monitoring. This will enable us to respond to a concrete proposal in an informed manner.

We look forward to learning more about KPO’s proposal for a joint environmental monitoring program, and hope we can agree on the terms to work together with KPO and the Berezovka Initiative Group to design and commission an independent environmental monitoring study that is the product of consensus among the stakeholders at Karachaganak, including the Berezovka Initiative Group, Crude Accountability and other civil society organizations.

Sincerely,

Kate Watters
Executive Director

CC:
World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz
Mr. Rashad Kaldany, Director, Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals Department, IFC
A.A. Belonog, Minister of Health, Republic of Kazakhstan
R.S. Akhmetov, Deputy to the Senate of the Parliament, Republic of Kazakhstan
A. Samakova, Minster for Environmental Protection, Republic of Kazakhstan
R.Kh. Suerbaev, Oblast Ecology, Western Kazakhstan Oblast
Head of Oblast Department of Health, Western Kazakhstan Oblast
E.K. Imashev, Akim, Burlinsky Raion
Mr. R. Uteshev, Deputy Akim, Burlinsky Raion
V.I. Chigvintsev, Deputy of Burlinsky Raion
R.K. Narmukhamedov, Akim, Berezovka Okrug
Kate Kopishke, Specialist Ombudsman, CAO, IFC
Meg Taylor, CAO, IFC
Bureau for Human Rights, Uralsk