14 Apr 2023 15:35

Kashagan operator declares strict compliance with environmental standards and "some disagreements" with Kazakhstan Ecology Ministry

ASTANA. April 14 (Interfax) - North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), the operator of the Kashagan oil field development, adheres to strict environmental standards, managing director of the consortium, Olivier Lazar, said when commenting on the claim by Kazakhstan's Ecology Ministry against the company.

"At the moment, I can't say anything about this, except that we adhere to the most stringent environmental approaches in our activities. We currently have some disagreements with the Ministry of Ecology, but we have full confidence in what we are doing," Lazar told reporters on Friday in Astana.

As reported, the Kazakhstan Ecology Ministry filed a lawsuit against the operator of Kashagan for violating the rules for storing sulfur. "The audit began in 2022. As a result, it was revealed that the rules for storing sulfur were violated," the ministry's press service told Interfax.

According to media reports, Kazakhstan stands to recover about 2.3 trillion tenge (about $5.1 billion) from NCOC for the violations of environmental protection rules.

The Kashagan oil field is considered one of the largest oil fields to be discovered in recent decades. Its recoverable reserves range from 9 to 13 billion barrels of oil. Commercial production at Kashagan began in autumn 2016.

The shareholders of the NCOC consortium are KMG Kashagan B.V. (16.877%), Shell (SPB: RDS.A) Kazakhstan Development B.V. (16.807%), Total EP Kazakhstan (16.807%), AgipCaspian Sea B.V. (16.807%), ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc. (16.807%), CNPC Kazakhstan B.V. (8.333%) and Inpex North Caspian Sea Ltd. (7.563%).