April 15, 2015
“Green” initiatives of petroleum experts

Plans of hydrocarbon production from abundant Kazakhstani subsurface resources are usually considered from the point of view of their economic feasibility.

Yet, environmental and social issues are no less important to ensure sustainable development. We are talking about these issues with Arman Markashov, KPO Environmental Management Systems Controller. 

- It is well-known that Kazakhstan undertook a voluntary commitment to reduce GHG emissions 15% by 2020 and 25% by 2050 as part of Kyoto Protocol. What is KPO contribution into these “green” initiatives of Kazakhstan? 

- KPO fully supports the republic’s initiative on transition to “green economy”. According to those obligations that you have mentioned in your question and requirements set by RK state authorities, the consortium gradually reduces GHG emissions to prevent global climate change. In 2014 KPO reduced GHG emissions to 193 thousand tons which is 15 % less than in 2013. 

In total, starting from 1998, investments of our Company allocated for environmental protection measures exceeded USD 297.2 million. As a result, gas utilization in Karachaganak totalled 99.81 per cent which surpasses global indicators significantly. 

In 2014, KPO gas flaring volume amounted to 0.19 per cent out of the total volume of gas produced, or 1.16 tons per thousand tons of produced oil. According to the report composed by International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, average global indicator totals 15.1 tons per one thousand tons of “black gold” produced, whereas in Europe an average of 3.83 tons of gas are being flared per one thousand tons of oil. These figures confirm that KPO achieved extremely good gas flaring indicators against leading global and European oil and gas companies. Nevertheless, the consortium decided to attain new successes and continues introducing additional technologies to reduce GHG emissions particularly when performing such operations as well testing and clean-up.  

KPO in his product activity, at most approaching to decrease any impacts to environment, to keep biodiversity sorts and improve conditions for region flora and fauna representatives. Guaranteeing harmony with environment for that hard technical field development, as Karachaganak - this is a major mission, demanding full efficiency and strict notice of KPO company and contracting agency employees. KPO supported, his own executive system according of ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001 international standards. It means that company committing to affair of environmental protection and production safety support.

Besides, after the RK Law “On energy efficiency and energy saving” was passed in 2012 and as per national programme “Energy saving – 2020” related to this law, KPO proceeded to implement energy management system in line with the requirements set by international standard ISO 50001. This will allow KPO to ensure optimal consumption of energy resources in accordance with production schedule.

- How does the Company perform measures on environmental protection and integrated monitoring? Does the Company conduct research works to identify the field’s impact on the environment?  

- Monitoring process and environmental protection measures are key parts of Karachaganak environmental protection activities. Emissions generated as a result of production facilities operations are closely monitored. A total of sixteen automated environmental monitoring stations are installed within the field and Sanitary-Protection Zone territory. Eleven stations are located along the perimeter of Sanitary-Protection Zone, four stations are installed within the sanitary zone, one is near the Karachaganak Processing Complex. Two additional mobile stations are available for emergency cases. All stations are equipped with up-to-date equipment whose status is constantly being controlled as well. 

West Kazakhstan branch of “Kazgidromet” has an opportunity to track monitoring data in real time mode. This ensures ultimate access to the data and its transparency. Sensors are connected via software while special module texturizes the files. Hardware-software complex receives the information from the stations through modem connection every 20 minutes. Hardware also ensures transmission security and protection from temperature differentials or power outages. In case of power outages the stations keep functioning in the work mode for not less than forty minutes. This time is enough for arrival of technicians’ brigade responsible for the uninterrupted operation of the system. Data received from “the wheels” are used to prepare reports for the last three hours, 24 hours, month and quarter. Afterwards these reports can provide the information for any particular day up to the exact minute. 

Moreover, the independent accredited contractor “Gidromet LTD” IPC LLP performs air quality control. The contractor also conducts analysis of air conditions in Berezovka, Bestau, Zharsuat, Zhanatalap, Dimitrovo, Karachaganak, Priurale, Uspenovka villages, as well in Aksai town which is the administrative capital of Karachaganak. Stationary sites are installed in all these villages. Air sampling is being conducted four times per day in accordance with the regulatory requirements set in environmental legislation. Based on the analysis results of one-time air samplings, average air pollutants content per day (month, quarter, year) are defined. No exceedance of permissible indicators was recorded following average daily air monitoring results. The impact of facilities operation on soil and water is being continuously controlled as well. Reports on results of air sampling analysis are being composed every ten days and are being stored for three years. 

Monitoring process and environmental protection measures are only a part of a consistently implemented environmental programme. Above all, the programme envisages applying equipment and technologies at the field that meet environmental requirements. 

- Technologies and management principles are progressing. Do you believe that current KPO environmental management module corresponds to the imperative of these days? 

- We always stay abreast with the recent trends. For instance, in August 2014, based on the results of re-certified audit of KPO environmental management system that was performed by international organization “Bureau Veritas” to verify the compliance of the company with ISO 14001 international standard requirements, the decision has been made to revise the existing environmental aspects identification procedure and update relevant environmental aspects registers for the Company facilities and subdivisions. 

Since significant amount of technical operations are performed by contractors in the course of hydrocarbons production and processing activities, it is quite explicable that environmental aspects registers (of both high and average levels of risk) should be updated for the operations of major contractors. This is important since not all of our contractors have certified quality management system in line with ISO 14001. 

On March 6th of the current year, in Aksai, Environmental Management Systems Controllership held a conference entitled “Environmental aspects of performing works under KPO contracts”. The conference enabled us to exchange views, experience on implementing methodologies applied by various companies to identify and assess environmental aspects. 

The main purpose of this conference was to implement KPO environmental policy and ensure environmental safety of the region as a whole. 

Within the scope of the event, KPO representatives replied to questions by conference participants regarding improvement of environmental aspects registers (of both high and average levels of risk) of major contractors. Also, issues related to Environmental Aspects Identification Procedure and relevant KPO environmental aspects registers. 

To my mind, this event was extremely productive for those contractors who do not have certified environmental management systems available. 

- Thank you for the interview.

Botagoz Omar