Azerbaijan, Baku, June 3 / Trend T.Hajiyev /
The major issue while determining oil and gas processing and petrochemical industry future development priorities is to consider the ecology, Azerbaijani Deputy Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Novruz Guliyev said at the International Conference on Environmental Technologies: Rapidly Growing Oil and Gas Industry's Future held during the Seventeenth International Oil and Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals Exhibition and Conference.
"We inherited a large contaminated area due to the fact carbohydrogenic resource production using primitive technologies began in Azerbaijan in the 19th century," Guliyev said.
He added that President Ilham Aliyev has made environmental protection and public health a priority, and 2010 was declared the Year of Ecology in Azerbaijan. Much work is underway in this sphere, he noted.
"Activities are underway to clean polluted lands on the Absheron Peninsula, which is the zone most affected by the oil industry. The country is establishing new wastewater treatment plants to prevent contaminated industrial and domestic waste from reaching the sear. Water purification units meeting international standards were also installed on the coastal area," Guliyev said.
State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Vice President of Environment Soltan Aliyev said SOCAR defined its environmental policy in 2008, and its main principle is"zero waste."
"SOCAR has cleared 300 hectares of contaminated land on the Bibi Heybat, Balakhani, Siyazan, Kurovdagi and Garabagli oil fields since 2006. Remediation and landscaping activities have been conducted on these areas through reclamation. The company also plans to clean old oil pits around the highway leading to the Heydar Aliyev Airport where will the Baku Olympic Stadium will be built," Aliyev said