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No pollution discovered at Kashagan

22 november 2013, 18:48
0
Kashagan oil field. ©Reuters
Kashagan oil field. ©Reuters
No pollution has been found around the Kashagan oil field, Inter-Regional Inspection of Ural-Caspian Basin of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Environment and Water Resources told KazTAG.

"On November 12, 2013 together with the Environment Protection Prosecutors of Atyrau Oblast our inspectors made a flight over the artificial islands of the Kashagan field, its coastal facilities and the on-shore facilities, and the place of the reported gas leak in particular," the inspection said on November 19.

The experts took water samples near the pipeline at Lopatino and Gogolsky sectors. "The samples were tested and the results were publicized on November 18. No phenol, petroleum products or hydrogen sulphide were found in the samples," the message said. It was also reported that there no oil spills, areas of fish, birds or animals mass mortality were found.

Production at the Kashagan field has not been restarted. It initially began on September 11, but was later halted twice.

Small content of gas in the air was discovered during a scheduled check on October 9, 2013 at one of the sections of the gas pipeline from Island D to Bolashak oil refinery located 2 km from the field. Oil production at the field was stopped. But not excessive gas content in the air that could be harmful for people's health and the environment was discovered.

Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin later announced that oil production at the Kashagan field may be resumed in December. "The exact date is going to be known after the results of all the checks are ready. According to the contractors, it may take until mid-December," Karabalin said when asked about the Kashagan oil production restart dates.

However, the October suspension was not the first suspension of the oil production caused by an accident at the Kashagan oil field. On September 24, 2013 another gas leak was discovered during a routine check of the ground gas pipeline from the offshore Island D to Bolashak refinery at the Caspian Sea coast. The leak was found 2.5 km from the plant in the sanitary protection zone. The production was haltered to seal the leak and restarted on October 6 only to be halted again 3 day later.

The Kashagan oil field is developed by North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC). The shareholders are AgipCaspian Sea B.V. (16.81%), KMG Kashagan B.V. (16.81%), ConocoPhillips North Caspian Ltd. (8.4%), ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc. (16.81 %), Inpex NorthCaspian Sea Ltd. (7.56 %), Shell Kazakhstan Development B.V. (16.81%) and Total EP Kazakhstan (16.81%). ConocoPhillips has withdrawn from the Kashagan project selling its share to Kazakhstan's KMG. KazMunaiGas is expected to subsequently resell the share to Chinese CNPC.

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