Sanitary protection zone

Effective 1st January 2019, a new sanitary protection zone (SPZ) has been established within the Karachaganak Field.

The area of the new SPZ (2018) is 513.7 km2, and covers the territory between the line of the outermost impact sources and the external SPZ boundary. The new SPZ is by 95.1 km2 bigger than the previous SPZ that was officially in place until 01.01.2019. Meanwhile, the area within the line of the outermost impact sources (according to the 2018 data) is now 208.3 km2, i.e. by 56.1 km2 bigger compared to the data of 2011. The length of the boundary along the SPZ perimeter is 98.96 km, which is by 11.16 km longer than the old SPZ boundary. Foremost, the SPZ was changed due to the expansion of the area within the line of the outermost sources due to the planned construction of new facilities and drilling of new wells within the SPZ, as well as due to the increasing volumes of air pollutants and the maximum simultaneous gas flaring scenario that was used in calculations.

The dimensions of the Karachaganak SPZ are not the same in different directions and vary from 5,000 m on south-west to 9,440 m on south-east. In other words, size of the estimated SPZ is between 5,007 m and 7,579 m from the line of the outermost sources. The SPZ dimensions towards the neighbouring villages are shown on the table below.

Distance from the SPZ boundary to the nearest settlements

Settlement name

Zharsuat Zhanatalap Karashyganak Karakemer Aksay Priuralnoye Dimitrovo Uspenovka

Distance from the SPZ boundary to the settlement, m

4 317 2 887 3 287 4 778 7 569 6 660 4 812 6 278

Because the villages of Berezovka and Bestau fell within the boundaries of the estimated SPZ (2018), in late 2017 the villagers were resettled to locations with more favourable housing conditions in terms of the sanitary and hygienic standards.

In 2018, KPO started upgrades at Unit 2 and drilling of new wells located within the old SPZ boundary (2011). Prospective facilities of the future field development — KEP-1A and KEP-1 are scheduled post 2020.

Based on the sanitary and hygienic requirements, the SPZ boundary has been defined by:

  • the line of the estimated zones of surface concentrations of pollutants beyond which the MPC is not exceeded on any of them,
  • the line of maximum permissible levels (MPL) of physical impacts beyond which the MPL of physical impacts is not exceeded;
  • the line of acceptable health risk to the population beyond which the risk to human health is assessed as acceptable.

In addition to conditions determining the new SPZ dimensions as stated in the 2015 Sustainability Report, a cumulative line was identified beyond which the MPC is not exceeded and there is no risk to human health. Сalculations were made with account for the normal operation of all KPO production facilities and the maximum simultaneous gas flaring involving all flares at the existing and prospective field facilities as well as the simultaneous gas flaring at the four wells.

Map of the Karachaganak Field with SPZ marked as of 2019

(click on image to enlarge)