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Kashagan cut off from big land, as east wind drives water away

December 15 2012, 21:01

As said by our sources, currently there is no water connection between man-made islands A and D at Kashagan oil field and big land due to strong east wind.

Given this, construction rubbish and municipal wastes have greatly amassed at the islands.

As previously stated by NCOC, the consortium operates by zero waste principle, taking all the waste to the ports of Aktau and bases of Bautino and Kuryk for further utilization.

“There were no helicopter flights in past few days. Air connection has just resumed today, on December 15” told our sources employed at the islands.

The reason is the cold east wind that has driven water away to the big sea and uncovered shallow bottom of this part of the Caspian, which soon froze over.

Owing to shallow depth, much vaunted icebreakers of NCOC went aground.

Actually, this would cause no great attention, if forthcoming Kashagan oil production wasn’t excepted.

Consortium’s managers had recently assured the governor Izmukhambetov that the first oil would appear in March 2013.

Imagine an emergency situation during a similar offshore occurrence – what if not a single vessel can reach an oil spill? What would they do if oil spills under the ice?

A few days ago Ak Zhaik received a response from NCOC concerning tests at the islands, signed by Hans WENK, public affairs manager.

Consortium pledges that under international standards, before pumping hydrocarbons all pipelines and piping connections go through air and/or water pressure tests in conditions that guarantee integrity of pipelines.

Besides, the company has an oil spill response plan and up-to-date equipment, as well as well-trained specialists on standby.

In light of latest statements made by local environmental protection agency about gross violations in Kashagan project documentation, one may hardly believe these assurances.

By Laura SULEIMENOVA

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