hide message

Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

Both companies and impacted communities thank us for the resources and support we provide.

This is only possible because of your support. Please make a donation today.

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

Kazakhstan: NGOs urge companies to take actions to address concerns over pollution allegedly caused by oil production activities

In September and October 2019, Crude Accountability and some other NGOs in Kazakhstan issued a letter to the Board of Director of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and PetroChina Company Limited as well as to Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC), expressing concerns over the pollution caused by oil production activities by these companies in Kokzhid, Kazakhstan and urging them to take actions to address these concerns.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has invited CNPC and KNOC to respond to the letters. Neither company has responded.

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Company non-response
25 November 2019

China National Petroleum Corporation did not respond

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has invited China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to respond to the letter issued by Crude Accountability and other NGOs expressing concerns over allegations of pollution caused by oil production activities in Kazakhstan. CNPC did not respond. 

Article
25 November 2019

Kazakhstan: NGOs urge CNPC to take actions in response to allegations of pollution caused by oil production activities

Author: Crude Accountability and other NGOs

We are writing to you and the Board to express our deep concern for the CNPC [China National Petroleum Corporation] associated oil production and the threat to one of the largest and most unique underground freshwater desposit Kokzhide in Kazakhstan. This letter addresses impacts, and pollution caused by the oil exploration and production of CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC and KMK Munai JSC, which are subsidiaries of the CNPC…

… the Kokzhide massif is currently affected due to the exploration and production of oil. Seven oil producing companies operating within the Kokzhide massif are: Kazakhoil Aktobe LLP, KMK Munai JSC… Ada Oil Firm LLP… CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC… LLP "Urikhtau Operating", LLP JV "Fial" and LLP "MGK". CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC is a subsidiary of CNPC (85.42% of the shares) and is developing the Kenkiyak-Podsolevoye oil and gas field within Kokzhide … CNPC subsidiaries account for almost 60% of production wells within the Kokzhide underground water field.

The main factor in the underground water pollution of Kokzhide is the activity of oil companies…

… Back in 2012, public authorities found CNPC-Aktobemunaigas oil exploration activities were in violation of the requirements of the Environmental Code and contractual obligations… In response, representatives of CNPC-Aktobemunaigas assured and continue to assure that they were doing everything possible so as not to pollute groundwater. The company claims that an observation network of wells was set up on Kokzhide to monitor groundwater, and that there had not been any discharge exceeding oil product standards since 2007.  However, contrary to the claims by the company, the results of state monitoring for the period 2010-2017 confirm levels of water contamination as an outcome of earlier oil exploration activities still affects the quality of groundwater in Kokzhide in 2017…

… Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev said in May 2018 that the Kokzhide underground water field belongs to specially protected natural areas where any activity that threatens their safety is prohibited…

According to the Department of Ecology of Aktobe Oblast, currently the largest impact on Kokzhide is exerted by the companies CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC, KMK Munai JSC, Kazakhoil Aktobe LLP and Ada Oil Firm LLP, as they produce uninterrupted oil production…

While PetroChina, the publicly traded arm of CNPC, has stated in its Sustainability Report for Kazakhstan that all projects under the company’s implementation conforms with the “precautionary principle” and meets all environmental protection requirements...However, official Kazakh authorities have identified several violations in connection with CNPC’s activities in the Aktobe region, which raise serious concerns about the company’s fiduciary responsibility, and highlights CNPC - a Chinese state-owned enterprise - and its ability to comply with environmental and social due diligence requirements and the national law in Kazakhstan…

In connection with the foregoing, we ask you to convey to the Board of Directors of the CNPC to:

    1. Conduct, together with representatives of companies, authorized state bodies, the public and specialists of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a verification of the facts of the negative impact of subsidiaries of CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC and KMK Munai JSC on the state of the Kokzhide underground water field,   

   2. Conduct public consultations for concerned citizens and professionals who have appealed on the state of Kokzhide watershed;    

   3. Publish the results of the public consultations and the audit in the media…

Download the full document here

Article
25 November 2019

Kazakhstan: NGOs urge Korea National Oil Corporation to address concerns over pollution allegedly caused by oil production activities

Author: Crude Accountability and other NGOs

We are writing to express our deep concern for the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) associated oil production and the threat to one of the largest and most unique underground freshwater desposit Kokzhide in Kazakhstan. This letter addresses impacts, and pollution caused by the oil exploration and production of Ada Oil Firm LLP, which is a subsidiary of the KNOC…

… the Kokzhide massif is currently affected due to the exploration and production of oil. Seven oil producing companies operating within the Kokzhide massif are: Kazakhoil Aktobe LLP, KMK Munai JSC… Ada Oil Firm LLP… CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC… LLP "Urikhtau Operating", LLP JV "Fial" and LLP "MGK". Ada Oil Firm LLP is a subsidiary of KNOC (40% of the shares, LG International 35% of the shares) and is developing the Bashenkol oil field within Kokzhidevi. Thus, KNOC subsidiary account for almost 40% of production wells within the Kokzhide underground water field. 

 The main factor in the underground water pollution of Kokzhide is the activity of oil companies…  

… Back in 2012, public authorities found roads, power lines and flow lines to 15 wells of Ada Oil were built without the permission of the Committee of Geology and Subsoil Use of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologiesxiii. According to the Department of Ecology of Aktobe Oblast, currently the largest impact on Kokzhide is exerted by the companies CNPC-Aktobemunaigas JSC, KMK Munai JSC, Kazakhoil Aktobe LLP and Ada Oil Firm LLP, as they produce uninterrupted oil productionxiv. According to local hydrogeologists, the most dangerous companies for Kokzhide are those who use shallow wells, including the Ada Oil…

… Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev said in May 2018 that the Kokzhide underground water field belongs to specially protected natural areas where any activity that threatens their safety is prohibited…

The pollution of the Kokzhide underground water has already impacts on the residents around Ada Oil Firm…

Despite of the ongoing pollution of the Kokzhide underground water field and the local residents’ suffering, it has been impossible for the local residents to raise issue to Ada Oil Firm due to lack of official communication channel. Since Ada Oil Firm does not have any complaint mechanism accessible for the local residents, they bring their complaints to the local authorities. Furthermore, since there is no website accessible for Ada Oil Firm besides introduction in KNOC’s website in English, the local residents have not been able to get any information regarding the business activities and their impacts to them as well as to the environment. 

As a public agency in Korea, KNOC adopted the Human Rights Management Regulations, and is committed to the implementation of the regulations…

We therefore request that the KNOC holds the Human Rights Management Committee and conduct the following reviews based on the said regulations…

In connection with the foregoing, we would also ask the KNOC to:

1. Conduct an independent investigation by involving third parties and authorized state bodies on the pollution and impacts to the environment and on the Kokzhide underground water field, 

2. Conduct public consultations for concerned citizens and professionals who have appealed on the state of Kokzhide watershed;

3. Make consultation results public and accessible to the Kazakh public and local communities…

Download the full document here

Company non-response
25 November 2019

Korea National Oil Corporation did not respond

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) to respond to the letter issued by Crude Accountability and other NGOs expressing concerns over allegations of pollution caused by oil production activities in Kazakhstan. KNOC did not respond.