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Kazakhstan Sues Oil Consortium In Qashaghan Pollution Case

An oil rig (rear) and infrastructure of D Island, the main processing hub, are pictured at the Qashaghan offshore oil field in the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan is suing the multinational consortium developing the Qashaghan (Kashagan) oil field in the Caspian Sea for $737 million over alleged damage to the environment.

Kazakhstan's Environment Protection Ministry said on March 7 that the claim against the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) was made by Atyrau regional authorities in western Kazakhstan, where Qashaghan is located.

Production at Qashaghan, the world's biggest oil discovery in 35 years, began in September 2013 but was stopped just weeks later after gas was found to be leaking from its pipelines.

Residual sour gas was then burned in flares at Qashaghan's processing plants, polluting the environment, according to the ministry.

NCOC has so far declined comment.

Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Eni, Japan's Inpex, China National Petroleum Corporation, and the Kazakh state oil company KazMunaiGas hold stakes in Qashaghan.

Based on reporting by Reuters and