Kazakhstan: environmental suit against Caspian consortium


The government of Kazakhstan has┬ábrought a┬álegal action for violation of environmental protection laws against the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), the consortium leading development of the country’s massive Kashagan oil field, seeking $5.14 billion in fines. In the complaint filed late last month, the┬áMinistry of Ecology & Natural Resources┬ácites storage of sulfur on site┬áin excess of permitted limits, burning of crude gas on flares without a┬ápermit, improper┬ádischarge of wastewater, and other violations.

Kashagan is one of the largest oil-fields discovered on Earth over the past 40 years, with recoverable reserves estimated at up┬áto 13 billion barrels. In 1997, a Production Sharing Agreement was signed between the Republic of┬áKazakhstan and the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC) to run the NCOC. The consortium includes the Italian Eni, French Total, US-based ExxonMobil, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Chinese CNPC, Japan’s Inpex, and KazMunayGas, the Kazakh national operator. (Jurist)

Map: US Energy Information Administration via Jurist