Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, Kazakhstan

Local inhabitants and EJOs have long denounced severe environmental and air pollution without being heard. On November 28, 2014, a mass poisoning of children at the school of Berezovka occoured.


The village of Berezovka is located 5 kilometers away from Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, operated by Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO), a joint venture between KazMunaiGaz, Eni, BG Group, Chevron Corporation, and Lukoil.

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Basic Data
NameKarachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, Kazakhstan
ProvinceWestern Kazakhstan
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project Details-KPO (Karachaganak Petroleum Operating) is not an independent company. It is rather a joint venture among 5 companies: KazMunaiGaz, Eni, BG Group, Chevron Corporation, and Lukoil.

-The field reserves contain more than 1,200 million tons of oil and condensate and more than 1.35 trillion cubic metres of gas.

-The gas production equals to about 45% of all Kazakhstan's gas production.

-In 2012, production of oil was 12.2 million tons and production of gas was 17.5 billion cubic metres.

-In 2012, Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company, KazMunayGas, joined the Karachaganak partners, assuming a 10-percent stake in KPO, leaving UK-based BG Group and Italy’s Eni operating with a 29.25-percent share each, Chevron with 18 percent and Russia’s Lukoil with 13.5 percent.

-National participation: in 2013, the proportion of local content in KPO contracts for the supply of goods and services reached 50.2 percent, or $461 million.
Project Area (in hectares)28000
Level of Investment (in USD)17,600,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1,200-1,400
Start Date01/03/2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesKazMunaiGaz (KMG) from Kazakhstan
Eni group from Italy
BG Group from United Kingdom
from United States of America
Lukoil from Russian Federation
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Kazakhstan
International and Financial InstitutionsCompliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)
Corporación financiera Internacional (CFI)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPublic organization Jasil Dala

Crude Accountability EJO

Green Salvation EJO

Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law

Public association Shanyrak


Green Steppe, environmental organization of Berezovka.


Sergey Kuratov, Chairman of the Ecological Organization “Green Salvation”


Sergey Solyanik, Consultant, Crude Accountability

+7-707-7011271, [email protected]

Local Journalist: Lukpan Akhmedyarov; journal “Uralskaya Nedelya”, Uralsk
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Othercardio-vascular, muscular-sceletal problems; vision loss, memory loss
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Relocation of 2 families, air quality alert system
Development of AlternativesCurrently no official proposals are in place as the old ones could not be realized due to inaction of legal respondents (KPO and local and regional governments)
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite the lawsuits and ejo activism nothing has considerably changed in the quality of life of the villagers, and even though the court ruled in favor of villagers' relocation, nothing has been done.

However, KPO has brought forward a few changes to make the information about their environmental impact more transparent
Sources and Materials

[5] Supreme Court Ruling from 2008
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[6] Court Ruling from 2009
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Proceedings from the latest court ruling
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Aarhus convention
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[3] 2003 health report
[click to view]

News Report about KPO fines:
[click to view]

2005 WKO decision:
[click to view]

Karachaganak Field Info:
[click to view]

KPO Investment Info:
[click to view]

KPO Air quality technology implementation
[click to view]

Crude Accountability Consultant's report from May 2014
[click to view]

[1]NGO Crude accountability description of the campaign
[click to view]

[4] Report on the results of the independently-conducted toxins test
[click to view]

[7] Info about targeting of Svetlana Anosova:
[click to view]

[9] Official Kazakhstani portal reporting on the gathering of ministers on the federal level
[click to view]

[8] Western Kazakhstai regional news source reporting on the November 28, 2014 incident:
[click to view]

[2] KPO's response about Berezovka case from 2005
[click to view]

Crude Accountability, Mass Poisoning of the Children in Berezovka: Causes of the Emergency and the Account of Events, December 10, 2014
[click to view]

13) Business-humanrights, Kazakhstan: Local residents blame Karachaganak oil & gas field (operated by KPO) for mass poisoning of children; company denies allegations, [10-02-2016].
[click to view]

14) Dinara Urazova, Kazakh Vice Prime Minister visits Berezovka village after mass poisoning of children, Tengrinews.kz, 16 December 2014
[click to view]

15) Tatyana Kuzmina (Gyuzel Kamalova contriibuted to the story), 29 school students and teachers faint one after another in Western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz, 1 December 2014
[click to view]

Joanna Lillis, Kazakhstan: Major Gas Field Suspected in Children’s Poisoning, December 4, 2014.
[click to view]

Media Links

5 Kilometers of Indifference, a film made by NGO Crude Accountability:
[click to view]

[10] A mother of one of the poisoned kids at the meeting with the public held on January 20,2015:
[click to view]

[11] Regional health authority report:
[click to view]

[12] Final official remarks on the meeting where links between KPO gas emissions and poisoning were deemed 'inconclusive':
[click to view]

[13] KPO official Damiano Ratti’s statement:
[click to view]

17) Video: Crude Accountability, Berezovka: Exodus, December 19, 2015
[click to view]

18) Video: Crude Accountability, The Forgotten Children of Berezovka, December 24, 2015
[click to view]

Other Documents

Bucket Brigade Locals gather to conduct independent testing of the environmental pollution
[click to view]

Children hospitalized Source: Tatyana Kuzmina (Gyuzel Kamalova contriibuted to the story), 29 school students and teachers faint one after another in Western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz, 1 December 2014

http://en.tengrinews.kz/emergencies/29-school- students-and- teachers-faint- one-after-another-in- 257706/
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorYevgeniya Yatsenko, MICLA McGill University, [email protected]
Last update15/03/2018