Kazakhstan imposes Caspian Sea oil safety controls

November 16. Central Asia Newswire

Kazakhstan imposes Caspian Sea oil safety controlsKazakhstan has imposed tougher safety controls on oil operators in the Caspian Sea to prevent accidents like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a top Kazakh official said Monday.

“Driven by the intensity of oil operations in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea and the need to prevent accidents similar to that in the Gulf of Mexico, the government has decided to tighten control over oil operations at sea and improve the regulatory framework,” the Xinhua news agency cited Emergency Minister Vladimir Bozhko as saying.

The minister told Kazakhstan’s lower house of Parliament, the Majilis, that over the last month his ministry investigated the safety controls at 273 Caspian shelf oil production facilities owned by 34 companies.

“We found 617 violations of safety regulations and prosecuted 56 officials,” he said.

Bozkho told the lawmakers the Emergency Ministry is in the process of creating emergency response measures.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico created an environmental disaster after a well ruptured in April causing an explosion that sunk a rig, killing 11 oil workers and releasing approximately 50,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day for three months before the well was capped.