By Saule Tasboulatova
Only a few days ago my colleague Azamat Maitanov published the article “Kashagan to be ruined by Italian convict and our businessmen in ministerial chairs”. And today we received a new information: starting from June this year the Bolashak onshore processing unit (part of the facilities of Kashagan North Caspian project) will be mothballed for 2 years. The reason: total replacement of pipelines at Kashagan.
- Only a limited number of personnel will be retained, mainly professional unit operators in order to do periodical re-starts of the units and keep them from rusting, - say our sources, working in subcontracting companies of Agip at Karabatan.
Thus, an extended conservation of Bolashak plant is a serious confirmation of informal information about postponement of oil production at Kashagan for at least 2 years. Expats leaving Atyrau for good now say about this openly in their informal conversations, - notes English editorial office of AkZhaik.
We approached NCOC press service with the inquiry (concerning postponement of oil production for 2 years and full replacement of pipes) and received the following answer: “We are waiting for the results of examination. We will provide comments later, based on the results”.
To recall, at Bolashak plant the Kashagan crude was supposed to be refined up to commercial condition. Since the Kashagan start-up, about 320 000 barrels of oil had been produced that was stored in tanks on plant territory. Have they managed to process it and sell – not clear.
As for the pipelines, most likely, that two 96 km oil and gas pipeline stings will be replaced. During the diagnostic stage it became clear that several kilometers of pipes were defective.
We reported earlier that last month the Department of Ecology of Atyrau Oblast imposed a 134bn tenge fine on Agip and NCOC for various violations. However, foreign companies understanding that it was a signal of discontent from the Kazakhstan party, were not frightened of aggravation of the situation and appealed to court with a request to consider the actions of the ecology department as illegal. Currently, the economic court is reviewing the case.
And the last thing. Our source working at D island, said that at Kashagan there are plenty of dead seagulls and dead fishes floating with bellies up. We approached Erbol Kuanov, the head of ecology department of Atyrau Oblast, with a question whether it’s possible to check this information.
- If we travel there now, they will see our boat 10 km ahead and clean everything up, -says Kuanov. Every bit of our presence is recorded, starting from the moment of departure. The only way out is to record it on mobile phone camera and make sure that it would be possible to prove that images were really taken on D island.