ENVIRONMENTAL AND SAFETY LEGISLATION FOR THE OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS SECTOR IN KAZAKHSTAN: A CRITICAL REVIEW
Kazakhstan has shown an increase in its offshore oil and gas (O&G) prospection and operation activities in the Caspian Sea since 1998, so far with a limited number of operators, but which is about to increase significantly. This is of concern, considering that the environmental and industrial safety regulatory framework is still inadequate for the prevention of pollution from a large number of operators in a very sensitive aquatic ecosystem. This paper reports on the results of a study undertaken for the European Commission Tacis programme aimed at enhancing the environmental and industrial safety regulatory framework in order to align it with EU and international best practice. Based on a comprehensive analysis of applicable international standards and regulations, as well as those of Kazakhstan, ten issues are identified which require urgent attention. These issues are discussed and recommendations made on how to address them in order to improve the regulatory system.
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