Flooded oil wells threatened Caspian environment - expert
Kazakhstan, Astana, Nov. 1 /D. Mukhtarov/
Flooded oil wells pose a threat to the ecology of the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan newspaper Liter wrote, quoting chief of the Zhaiyk Caspian Ecology Department in the Atyrau region Erbol Kuanov.
"There are wells recorded in the State Fund and there are those that are in the contract area of subsoil users. Data on the total number of such wells is different," Kuanov said.
He noted that last year's inventory of wells gave new results, but so far the exact number of emergency oil and water wells is unknown.
According to the newspaper, the oil wells in the Kazakhstan part of the Caspian Sea are under water from the time of the Soviet Union with the effect of corrosion, making them a serious threat to the entire ecosystem of the Caspian Sea.
Several facts relating to oil leaks from wells in south-western Tazhigali and the field Coastal are officially registered.
"The work on elimination of the wells is being carried out slowly and funding is being reduced from year to year," the ecologist said. He noted that 47 wells were eliminated during 2004-2009 as part of the national programme and no such work was carried out subsequently.
"At this rate, it will take another 15-20 years in order to plug the dangerous hole," the ecologist said.
"It is also urgent because the authorities need to know the exact background picture of the contamination prior to the development of Kashagan, as to go against the companies in the oil spill will be difficult," Kuanov added.