The Ural is Threatened by Pollution

Amina Dzhalilova

New Generation: Socio-Political Daily
April 15, 2005, #15 (359)

Due to environmental violations, the Ecology Department of Western Kazakhstan refused to grant the oil company “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating” a license to conduct environmentally dangerous operations. Now any violation will be ten times more expensive than it was before.

Such a measure is very serious punishment. Usually oil companies get off with a fine; however in the history of Kazakhstan’s mineral resource exploitation, operations have been prohibited as a result of environmental pollution, in particular, the case of “Tengizchevroil.”

According to information from Oblast ecologists, the reason for the ban is that the company has not fulfilled its environmental obligations. Out of seven environmental protection measures stipulated in the license granted last year, KPO fulfilled only two measures completely, two in part, and the remaining three the company completely failed to fulfill. The lack of a toxic waste storage facility at the field has become a serious stumbling block that threatens to create an environmental catastrophe: 160 thousand tons of waste has accumulated at Karachaganak, which may enter into the Ural during the spring floods.

The company “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating” has not yet provided us with any commentary on the situation, however it is possible that we may receive an explanation from the company at a later date.

Translation by Crude Accountability