Public hearings on environment impact assessment in the course of offshore oil operations in “the pearls”

17 january 2007

In December 2005 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) on “The Pearls” was signed between the partners “Shell EP Offshore Ventures Limited, Kazakhstan” (55%), “KazMunayGaz” (25%) and Oman Pearls Company (20%). “The Pearls” covering the area of 895 sq.m. is located in the north part of the Caspian Sea. Pursuant to the RSA the minimum working program includes analysis of environment impact assessment, drilling of two exploration wells and performance of the associated investigations.

At present “Shell EP Offshore Ventures Limited, Kazakhstan” is the temporary project operator of “The Pearls”. In 2007 Joint Operating Company is to be established with participation of “Shell EP Offshore Ventures Limited Kazakhstan”, JSC OOC “KazMunayTeniz” and Oman Pearls Company.

In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan a permit for the project implementation can be obtained upon the approval of the documentation related to Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) by the authorized state bodies. Public hearings shall be also considered in the course of generating materials of the EIA for the pre-scheduled, pre-project and project documentation justifying economic and other activities.

17 January 2007 in Aktau within the public consultation the partners of “The Pearls ” held the Public Hearings on Environment Impact Assessment in the course of offshore oil operations in “The Pearls”. The purpose of the Public Hearings was to inform the local population and state bodies of the scope of the project, its environmental impact, social significance and take a note of desires, recommendations and remarks of the community.

According to the results of the preliminary environmental impact assessment of the offshore oil operations in “the Pearls” the following activities were carried out: environmental survey, impact on natural components caused by the implementation of the prospective activities, impact on social and economic spheres.

The environmental risk from the prospective activities has been assessed, an action plan to minimize negative consequences during the implementation of the Program for offshore operations developed.

The analysis of potential ecological consequences of oil operations of “the Pearls” revealed that the impact of the seismic surveys, geotechnical investigations, exploration drilling on marine environment will be insignificant. In general the appraisal testifies the acceptability of the prospective activities in “the Pearl” under the observance of the accepted design solutions.

Realizing uniqueness of the ecosystem of the Caspian Sea and its significance for future generations, the company-partners intend to carry out exploration works in “the Pearls” in a strict compliance with the legislation requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan, apply up-to-date- technologies keeping the integrity of bioresources of the Caspian Sea during geological investigations, exploration, construction and actual mining works. 

The operator will annually finance the projects for social infrastructure development and other projects of social significance. During personnel recruitment Kazakhstan qualified specialists will be preferred.

The project implementation will improve socio-economic conditions of the region and create new jobs for the residents of Mangistau oblast. The implementation of social programs is provided as well.

Shell RD Offshore Ventures Limited, Kazakhstan
JSC OOC “KazMunayTeniz”
“Oman Pearls Company”

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