By Laura Suleimenova
Barbarian abuse of environmental rules has been revealed at SE Novobogatinskiy and E Zhanatalapskiy oilfields belonging to ZhaikMunayGas Field Office, an EmbaMynayGas JSC subunit.
On the footage made by the oblast environmental department specialists, instead of utilizing, associated gas is just discharged raw into the air through a two-meter pipe at SE Novobogatinskiy.
According to the head of the regional environmental protection Yerbol Kuanov, since recently the residents of Zhanbai and Akkistau settlements have increasingly been complaining about permanent gas smell and headache.
Environmental officers went to inspect the fields in the district of Issatai in the company of nature protection prosecutor.
On the horizon they spotted a pipe, which as shown in the video, had been constantly releasing gas of bluish colour.
Testing equipment showed all contaminant concentration limits were exceeded many fold.
"If gas from a kitchen stove was coming out, you wouldn't last more than 15 minutes. But here, gas flows for 365 days a year," says Mr Kuanov.
By law, ZhaikMunayGas has to utilize gas for own needs.
Even flaring is prohibited by the RoK law on subsoil resources and subsoil use, unless it is emergency. For unsanctioned gas flaring companies pay millions in penalty.
As burning pipes can be easily noticed by environmentalists at night, ZhaikMunayGas chose to get rid of gas in quite a cynical way - to secretly blow entire volumes off to the air.
"Why not clean the gas and give it to people for domestic use? By doing so, ZhaikMunayGas irrationally manages natural wealth, bringing serious damage to public health and environment," said Mr Kuanov.
According to instruments, almost by every parameter there was exceedence.
Operators at the field, who live in the village of Akkistau too, were aware of this shocking fact, but held tongues fearing dismissal.
Associated gas utilization and flaring are priority issues in the region, therefore it is painful that such major breaches are made by a national company, given there is plenty of technologies on cleaning, detoxication and utilization of gas available.
"More recently, Embamunaygas has been ignoring environmental issues. If this goes on, we will raise the question of banning crude production," concluded Mr Kuanov.