MINISTRY OF EMERGENCY SITUATIONS HAS NO EQUIPMENT TO RESPOND TO CASPIAN SHELF BLOWOUTS
Astana. May 21. Interfax-Kazakhstan - The Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Bozhko reports insufficient public funding for oil well firefighting in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian shelf.
"As for the special equipment for the Caspian shelf, I confirm that the Ministry lacks the equipment and vessels to respond to oil well blowouts in the Caspian Sea," he said at the Majilis of on Monday.
Bozhko noted that the engineering center project in the Caspian Sea has been held back by lack of funding. "We have prepared a feasibility study, but so far we have received no state budget support, it is hard to make something done that way," he said in this regard.
He said, however, that the Ministry of Oil and Gas, will fund construction of the Oil Spill Response Center in Atyrau "that will employ the respective technologies."
He noted that the Emergency Ministry is conducting a continuous monitoring of oil operation safety on the Caspian shelf. "We have access to all oil fields that are being put in operation in the Caspian Sea. All investors and oil companies are governed by the law on industrial safety, and we conduct regular check-ups for emergency risks," said the Minister.
The Emergency Minister stressed that the fire safety is the responsibility of oil companies. "They now have floating booms and vessels to recover oil spills. All major oil companies, including Kashagan operators and TCO has signed contract with the world leading companies in oil well firefighting," said Bozhko.
He added that Kazakhstan's Ministry of Emergency Situations has the equipment and experience of responding to onshore oil well blowouts. "Almost every year we are dealing with oil blowouts onshore and we have the technical resources to handle that. 4 years ago we bought two oil well fire-fighting units. The onshore oil fighting experience is an exclusive asset of our Ministry," said Bozhko.