Head of the Environmental Protection Department Advocates for Relocation of the Villagers of Berezovka from the Karachaganak Field’s Zone

Information Agency Interfax-Kazakhstan

May 17, 2006

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Environmental Protection, Nurlan Iskakov, thinks that the residents of the village of Berezovka in Western Kazakhstan Oblast (WKO) should be relocated from the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field’s zone of influence.

“This issue should be resolved positively”, said the Minister, responding to a journalist’s question at a briefing in the halls of the UNESCO regional conference “The Strategic Role of Renewable Energy for the Sustainable Development of Central Asia”.

N. Iskakov reported that on May 24th a group of representatives from the Ministry he leads are heading to the region. “There we will verify the situation in detail, as a result of which a public hearing will be organized on this issue with participation of the NGOs and residents who are raising this issue”, he noted.

He recalled that two villages of Western Kazakhstan Oblast—Tungush and Berezovka—are located in the operational zone of the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating consortium, which leads the development of the Karachaganak Field. “Tungush was relocated, but the question of Berezovka remains. They have turned to me with this issue and I am completely supportive (of relocation for Berezovka’s residents – clarification by Interfax-Kazakhstan)”, stressed N. Iskakov.

In 2003, based on a conclusion by Kazakhstan’s Senior State Sanitary Doctor, the borders of the Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ) around the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field were defined at a distance of 3000 to 3840 meters, whereas the radius was previously established at 5000 meters. The reduction of the SPZ around Karachaganak from 5 to 3 kilometers became the grounds for excluding the village of Berezovka from the Field’s zone of influence. As a result, unlike the village of Tungush, Berezovka’s residents were not relocated.

In the meantime, the Public Prosecutor of WKO has prepared a formal statement to the General Prosecutor protesting the actions of Kazakhstan’s Senior State Sanitary Doctor regarding the issuance of the referenced conclusion.

Translation by Crude Accountability