«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»

The problems of the Caspian Sea at the present level


Continuing to attract foreign investment to the country, our government in 1993 announced a tender for seismic work in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea. Oil Company Agip, British Gas International’s with Stat Oil, working in the alliance, as well as Mobil, Shell and Total-have become members of the consortium, which was to begin searching for oil and gas.

Project exploration of the northern Caspian Sea project was the future of the 21st century. It was rarely remembered, admittedly, and was very controversial project. Especially for those who have for centuries lived along the coast that feed and feed thousands of people. Our shelf, the mouth of the river Ural recognized the unique nature reserve. It is in those places where the seismic survey, millions of interwoven nest of birds, many of which are listed as endangered. These places are well-known migration routes of Caspian sturgeon and beluga stocks of roach, perch, bream, chub…

Naturally, we could not treat indifferently term extraction, actually on the reserve of oil. Because the public Atyrau, supported by many Kazakhs, began to actively oppose the seismic proving malignancy of the case. To a part of the Caspian shelf, the consortium participants understand the concern of local residents. For the first time we’ve seen how you can work with complete transparency and rage. And while many of us still believe strongly that drilling at the world’s largest enclosed body of water, which is the Caspian Sea, lake, it is very risky, after numerous public hearings, people have calmed down a bit. Moreover, that by and large all well — understood geological exploration in the Caspian Sea (if commercial reserves are discovered oil, and mining) — a political issue and still be resolved as the government wants. The only thing we could do more, strict adherence to all the protected nature of the activities.

Meanwhile successfully implemented large-scale geophysical survey identified a number of promising geological structures such as Tengiz and Karachaganak, foreign companies began to prepare for drilling reconnoitered. The first drilling barge OKIOK — the operator of the consortium of international companies, called «Sunkar» was built in Astrakhan. It was high adjust it to the maximum to work in a unique environment and geological conditions of the north- east of the Caspian Sea. In many ways it has no analogues in the world. Work on the modification of the barge was already within 12 months.

They were carried out mainly by the fact that drilling will take place in a conservation area and, consequently, environmental issues are a priority. In July of this year, the barge was launched from the slipway and delivered to the East Kashagan structure 75 kilometers from Atyrau.

In August, while the former prime minister of the republic Nurlan Balgimbayev was in his position the drilling of the first exploration of well has been started. This is the first exploration well of the planned six. The results of this drilling will be developed and the subsequent drilling program.

So, now there is a big question: whether we like or not, to find in our industry Caspian oil reserves?

Today, under the terms of the agreement between Kazakhstan and oil companies discovered oil and gas will belong to us. According to government estimates, 80% of production falls to Kazakhstan, 20% belongs to shareholders of OKIOK.

For us the most important thing: that they will be paid to the regional budget? How Atyrau residents find work in the consortium? Will bring to the work of local businesses and services? How will OKIOK promote infrastructure development area? Yet, the main stay of our unique protection of nature that cannot buy all the oil in the world. So, the project OKIOK is our hope and our general alarm. This is the only problem. Hope it is for the whole of Kazakhstan, and anxiety is entirely up to our share. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a meeting of the OSCE Council headquarters — the apartment of the organization in Vienna, cautioned against the Balkanization of the Caspian region. «It is important not to allow the so-called Balkanization of the Caspian region», he emphasized. «It has a huge energy potential». Caspian Sea region can be realized only when a conflict of existing problems is solved», he said. Nazarbayev says this, corresponds «not only the interests of the littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan. „IF -K“), but also to the interests of the European countries that in the 21st century can obtain additional sources of energy». The Caspian Sea, said the President, may become «one of the most important» of petroleum regions in the 21st century. Proved reserves of petroleum of the Caspian Sea have between 16 to 32 billion barrels, according to the president, in addition to proven reserves can add even more, with 160 billion barrels of oil, «If this is confirmed in the near future exploration activities».

Meanwhile, the gas reserves in the Caspian region were proved, according to the President of Kazakhstan as a whole estimate of 337 trillion cubic feet. «We want to take full advantage of the country connected by geographical location and favorable topology lying transit routes», — said Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan «has become a country that can meet the needs of not only its own economy, but also requested the international community», — he pointed out.

1. Proceedings of the seminar «Problems of the Caspian Sea at the present stage.»
2. The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Almaty in 1993.
3. v. A. Krachipov «Environment: Principles, Problems and Priorities.«1992.
4. VP «Environmental public rights in Kazakhstan," Almaty 20005. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. «On Environmental Protection», July 15, 1997. «Kazakhstan Today» 1997 March 21.

ASU named H. Dosmukhamedov Atyrau
S.Gilazheva, S.Rysmagambetova

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