Turkmenistan notes importance of environmental monitoring in hydrocarbon development of Caspian shelf

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 2 /Trend H.Hasanov/

Exploration and development of oil and gas deposits on the continental shelf of the Caspian Sea suggest the development and establishment of regional geo-environmental monitoring systems, taking into account the peculiarities of the region, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan said on Monday.

'It is therefore necessary to have a large database for specific regions and apply appropriate technologies and techniques for conducting research aimed at ensuring the safety of both the expensive facilities, and environment' the media said.

Since these structures are large and designed for long term use, the likelihood of their damage by natural phenomena is greatly increased. These phenomena include seism tectonic activity, the waves in the coastal zone, underwater landslides, bottom currents and corrosion in sea water.

It is also noted that it is necessary to control not only the factors directly affecting the biota of the sea, but also a number of geological, hydrological and technical factors in order to prevent possible adverse situations.

These affect the safety of the oil and gas industry, the natural and induced seismicity, coastal disturbance, undersea avalanches and landslides and corrosion of metal structures.
The study of industrial activity on the sea shelf is implemented mainly in two areas: control of water pollution and assessment of changes in environmental conditions in some regions. In this context, coordination of programmes carried out by all the countries of the Caspian region is required.

Ashgabat believes that the basis for the environmental monitoring of the marine environment should be based on a dynamic mathematical model that would take into account the large number of influencing factors in their relationship, as well as long term effects of impacts within existing scientific knowledge. To build such models it's necessary to establish operational control over a large number of influencing factors, to know in-depth biological processes and apply integrated approach to the ecosystem.

As part of the world's environmental problems of energy security, utilisation of associated petroleum gas is an acute problem. It is relevant for almost any oil company.

Air pollution by combustion products of gas can be avoided by directing gas to the industrial needs of consumers, or the company itself. Problems of development of the oil and gas industry in the time paradigm are closely related to the expansion of production and consequently, also the problem of research in the field of geology.
The Caspian Sea is the world's largest intracontinental basin not connected by a global ocean and having climate forming importance. It's unique insomuch it has brought to date a variety of relict flora and fauna, including the world's largest shoal of sturgeon (90 per cent of world reserves).

The Caspian Sea is the most important migration route and habitat for waterfowl and shore birds. Shallow water and coastal wetlands are highly productive areas and important habitat for marine organisms: fish, seals and birds of international importance.

There are a number of preconditions for the possible pollution of the Caspian Sea.
Among them are the development of hydrocarbon reserves in the sea and the surrounding area, the high density of population and industry in the surrounding areas, intensive agricultural development of land in the valleys of the flowing rivers and the absence of an explicit geochemical barrier river-sea and lock-in of the basin..

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