Emergency response

Emergency response and crisis management are the key processes in KPO management. Emergency preparedness and response address possible emergencies and incidents, their prevention and mitigation of impact on people, the environment, the Company’s assets and reputation.

In case of any incident, accident or emergency, KPO operates a robust three-level Emergency Response system used to trigger a prompt response, assessment of emergency scale, planning and implementation of actions to localize and eliminate emergency and its consequences. The system is graphically shown on the figure 10.

Fig. 10. KPO Emergency Response System

In emergencies, the life and health of people, environmental safety, asset integrity and reputation of the Company depend on the efficiency of training skills of the Levels I, II and III Emergency Management personnel, rescue services and teams to respond. Despite the COVID-19 spread restrictions, KPO conducted a sufficient scope of emergency response activities including preparation of resources and means providing social distancing is complied with.

Also, in a pandemic, KPO took measures to ensure stable operation of the Level II Incident Management Team (IMT), in particular:

  • reduced physical contact of the IMT Level II members;
  • combining field-based and Aksai-based teams in order to reduce the number of employees on duty at the same time;
  • table-top-exercises and shift handovers using audio and video means of communication.

As practice has shown, such solutions have allowed maintaining continuous operation of the Incident Control Team (ICT), while the unified IMT level II proved its effectiveness in practice during a real-life mobilization in December, having demonstrated well-coordinated teamwork.

KPO emergency response system is annually validated through various emergency drills and exercises in line with the annual Plan for preparing Management Bodies, KPO Emergency Response and Civil Protection teams, which is not part of personnel and community teams to take actions in emergencies.

In 2020, due to the COVID pandemic, KPO had limited prospects in conducting comprehensive emergency response exercises and training of the new IMT members. Nevertheless, members of IMT level II and CMT level III participated in the following real-life mobilizations and exercises, which allowed maintaining the level of readiness: 

  • ‘ASTRA’ exercise in February 2020 – a comprehensive emergency management exercise with participation of the Level II Incident Management Team, Level III Crisis Management Team;
  • ‘COVID-19’ exercise and ‘COVID-19’ real-life mobilization in March 2020 – Level III Crisis Management Team;
  • Real-life mobilization in December 2020 – mobilization and response of the joint Level II Incident Management Team due to suspicious object found by Security at well 9841.

As part of the Level I, in 2020 all the KPO hazardous production facilities conduct monthly emergency exercises with engagement of the Facility Incident Management Team, emergency rescue teams and KPO and contractors’ personnel.

Throughout 2020, adhering to all sanitary standards and social distancing, theoretical sessions and practical drills were held on a weekly basis with engagement of the KPO Emergency Response System teams, including:

  • firefighting services;
  • gas rescue teams;
  • voluntary gas rescue teams;
  • medical staff.

It should be noted that some table-top-exercises and drills, as well as emergency response exercises were cancelled at the peak of quarantine in order to reduce the risk of COVID spread considering the sanitary and epidemiological restrictions. Subsequently, exercises and drills were resumed.

Also, in 2020, KPO continued with training staff on civil protection via an e-learning system as required by the RoQ legislation.

The laboratory for respiratory protection, gas analysing and fire extinguishing equipment ensured the uninterrupted issue of the equipment to KPO and contractor personnel for conducting gas hazardous and emergency rescue operations. Additional hygiene means were provided to employees during the usage exercises of the respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Within 2020, the Centre for issuing filter masks and gas detectors continued providing protective equipment to all KPO and contractor employees and Field visitors.

Community preparedness

In case of an emergency, KPO monitors the level of awareness on community response among the residents of villages adjacent to the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field. In 2020, according to the approved plan, seven meetings on topics such as fire safety, stray livestock as a source of danger, role of Central Monitoring Station, Public Alarm Station and familiarization with its equipment, were held with state bodies and community residents living within the vicinity of the Field. The meetings covered 71 persons.

Within 2020, KPO Emergency Response specialists jointly with contractors’ representatives have been performing monthly testing of the alarm signals to maintain continued readiness of the public alarm stations located in the settlements.

In 2020, KPO has completed installation of the new diesel generator units and public alarm stations’ control systems in the villages of Priuralnyi, Zharsuat, Karachaganak, Zhanatalap and Uspenovka. The new equipment will ensure reliability and continuous operation of the stations.

Besides, KPO continues its active engagement with local authorities in the periods of high water, fire danger and winter.