Environmental monitoring

KPO implements a number of environmental programmes, which cover all areas of the production activities. Among the core programmes, there is a Production Environmental Control (PEC) Programme developed in line with the RoQ Environmental Code requirements to meet the following objectives:

  • obtaining reliable data about the Company’s emissions and impact of production operations on the environment;
  • minimizing the impact on the environment and human health;
  • rapid and proactive response to emergencies;
  • communication to stakeholders (local communities, state regulatory bodies, Parent companies) about the environmental activities of KPO and risks for human health.

As part of the PEC Programme, KPO monitors environmental emissions such as air emissions, wastewater discharge, waste treatment and disposal, and the quality of environmental components such as air, surface and ground water, and soil. The PEC monitoring of the quality of soils, surface and ground water demonstrated that concentrations of target substances in 2020 were on a par with those observed in previous years. There were no evidences that the Karachaganak Field operations may have impacted any of environment’s components.

KPO monitors air quality by ways of collecting and testing the samples – the job is performed by an accredited laboratory as well as 18 stationary automatic EMSs. Air quality is assessed based on sanitary and hygienic limits, i.e. maximum permissible concentrations (MPC). To identify the level of air pollution, the recorded concentrations of monitored components are compared against the maximum permissible concentrations and quantified in fractions.

In 2020, as part of the PEC Programme over 100,000 samples were collected, 117,000 laboratory analyses and 28,000 measurements were completed.

KPO pays particular attention to protection of air quality across the Karachaganak Field, at the Sanitary Protection Zone boundaries and the settlements adjacent to the Field.

Air monitoring by automatic Environmental Monitoring Stations 

18 stationary automatic EMSs are installed within the Karachaganak Field and along the perimeter of the SPZ (EMSs 001 – 018) and integrated into a single automatic environmental monitoring system.

Since the new sanitary protection zone (SPZ) was established and became effective from 01.01.2018, a project to relocate EMSs onto the new SPZ boundary was launched. As of end 2020, 12 EMSs are located along the SPZ boundary: 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 016, 017, and 018. Two EMSs 005 and 015 are to be relocated in 2021.

Annual average concentrations of the monitored components at the boundary of the Karachaganak Field SPZ recorded by the EMSs in 2020 are shown in table 25. The column ‘Actual annual average concentration’ shows the minimum and maximum average concentrations of the monitored air components recorded by each EMS

Tab. 25. The annual average concentrations of the monitored air components recorded by EMS in 2020

Monitored components

Actual annual average concentration, mg/m3

MPC one-time8, mg/m3

Exceedance of MPC*


от 0 до 0.001




от 0.001 до 0.007




от 0.002 до 0.006




от 0.1 до 0.2



* Criteria of air quality at the SPZ boundary is MPC one-time.

8MPC one-time is a maximum permissible one-time concentration of a chemical substance (in mg/m3 ) in the ambient air of settlements. This concentration shall not cause a reflex response in human bodies (delay of a breath, irritation of eyes, upper respiratory tract, etc.) in case of 20-30 min of inhalation.

All the EMSs take measurement of the four main pollutants (H2S, SO2, NO2, CO) on a continuous basis, i.e. 24/7. According to the data received from the EMSs in 2020, the actual daily, monthly, quarterly and annual average concentrations of the monitored components did not exceed the average daily MPC; however, on July 17, 2020, EMS 18 recorded MPC one-time exceedances measured within a short period of 20 minutes.

It should be noted that no connection has been found between the exceedances shown in table 26 and KPO field operations. The review of the KPO field operations and the meteorological parameters at the time of the MPC one-time exceedances suggest that all production facilities were in normal operation, with no flaring events, no equipment failures and emergencies recorded.

Tab. 26. One-time MPC exceedances recorded by EMS’s in 2020


Monitored components

Actual one-time concentrations recorded in 2020, mg/m3

MPC one-time, mg/m3

Frequency ratio of MPC exceedance, one-time

Number of exceedances










1.24 – 2.4


Based on weather conditions, ESE and SE winds were recorded whereby KPO field operations could not have affected the atmospheric air in the area of EMS-18. Direct H2S sources across KPO facilities were not identified. Major grass fires in Uspenovka rural district, Berezovka, Tungush and adjacent areas had caused the carbon monoxide (CO) exceedances. No gas odour complaints from the local communities adjacent to the Karachaganak Field were raised on the date the MPC exceedances were recorded. In line with the RoQ Environmental Code (article 130, clause 1, subclause 6), KPO sent a notification to the WQO Environmental Department with respect to the fact of the exceedances recorded on EMS-18.

Air quality data from all 18 KPO automatic EMSs are transmitted online to the West Qazaqstan Oblast Environmental Department via the Ecomonitor portal.

Atmospheric air monitoring in the villages adjacent to the Karachaganak Field

There are stationary air monitoring posts in six settlements located around the field: Zharsuat, Zhanatalap, Dimitrovo, Karachaganak, Priuralnoye, Uspenovka, and in Aksai. Air sampling is carried out four (4) times a day at 1, 7, 13 and 19 hours according to the State Standard by the permanent personnel of the contracted laboratory, who reside in the villages. Approximately 52,000 air samples were collected and analysed at the stationary posts in 2020.

Air samples are delivered to the laboratory in Aksai where they get chemically tested for the content of five main components in accordance with the State Standard and Ruling Documents: hydrogen sulphide (H2S), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methylmercaptan (СH3SH). In addition, every 10 days the air is monitored for concentration of volatile organic components: benzene (C6H6), toluene (C7H), xylene (C8H10).

Monthly results of air monitoring are published in local print media and distributed to the villages for posting on the information boards. If any gas odour complaint is raised by someone the community, an unscheduled air sampling is performed at stationary posts.

In 2020, No MPC exceedances was recorded for the daily average concentrations of the monitored air components in the villages.

In 2020, seven complaints with respect to gas odour were raised by the village communities adjacent to the Karachaganak Field. Unscheduled air sampling was carried out in the villages with results of the analyses showing that contents of the monitored components did not exceed the MPC’s. Each complaint from an initiator with respect to gas odour has been addressed.

Annual average concentrations of the monitored air components in the seven villages in 2020 are shown in table 27. The column ‘Actual annual average concentration’ shows the minimum and maximum values of annual average concentrations of the controlled air components.



Context / short description:

Ecomonitor portal is an online Air Monitoring data transmission system, developed by KPO in 2013 as part of the “KPO B.V. EMS Ecological Information Post Creation” project for prompt informing the RSE Kazhydromet on atmospheric air condition in Berezovka village and timely decision-making in event of complaints from the communities.


  • The information system would allow for real time transmission of air monitoring data in tabular and graphical form to the WQO regulatory agencies for further analysis and decision-making;
  • Increasing transparency over KPO production activity and its impact on atmospheric air and improving interaction with regulatory agencies.

Solution / actions:

In 2013, KPO developed the Ecomonitor portal with an online access for WQO Kazhydromet branch to KPO atmospheric air monitoring data from the two environmental monitoring stations EMS-013 and EMS-014, installed in Berezovka village.

In June 2018, KPO established an online transmission of the air quality data to WQO Environment Department from all 18 automatic EMSs, installed both at the SPZ boundary and within the Karachaganak field.

In 2020, as part of the corporate geographic information system (GIS), KPO updated the Ecomonitor portal with a number of new features such as:

  • significantly reduced time for collection and display of monitored data from the EMS;
  • updated mode of atmospheric air quality reporting for the selected period (day, month, year) whereby reports are created much faster;
  • submission of data through an interactive map that visually shows location of the automatic environmental monitoring stations, the Karachaganak Field SPZ boundaries and adjacent inhabited areas;
  • EMS status visualized in real time (normal operation, calibration, power outage, etc.);
  • portal user authentication changed from local to domain such as to improve the protection of the transmitted data.

In December 2020, KPO specialists presented a new version of the Ecomonitor and trained WQO Environment Department employees to operate the portal. Also, authentication data was handed over to the designated staff.


In result of the project implementation, WQO state agencies gained a real-time access to atmospheric air data from the Company EMSs.

The online monitoring data transmission to regulatory agencies contributes KPO’s fulfilling its obligation in the fields of health, safety and environment, including:

  • ensuring environmental safety and minimizing KPO’s impact on human health and the environment;
  • building confidence in KPO environmental data on the part of the regulators.

Taking into account the requirement of the new RoQ Environmental Code, for implementation of automated monitoring systems, KPO’s decision to establish an Atmospheric Air Quality Monitoring System within the Karachaganak Field and subsequent data transmission to regulatory agencies was ahead of its time.

Tab. 27. Annual average concentrations of monitored air components in the villages adjacent to KOGCF in 2020

Monitored components

Actual annual average concentration, mg/m3

MPC daily average9 , mg/m3

Exceedance of MPC daily average










От 0.024 до 0.026




below MDL10




от 0.173 до 0.180




below MDL10




below MDL10




not detected



9MPC daily average – maximum permissible daily average concentration of chemical substance [in mg/m3 ] in the ambient air of settlements. This concentration shall not have direct or indirect adverse effect on human body in case of inhalation during indefinitely long-term period (years).

10 Measurements recorded were below the method’s minimal detection limit (MDL). MDL’s for monitored components:: CO – 0.6 mg/m3; С7Н8 – 0.14 mg/m3; С8Н10 – 0.14 mg/m3.

11 MPC one-time. MPC daily average for hydrogen sulphide and methylmercaptan is not established, therefore, MPC one-time is referred to for comparison purpose; MPC one-time is also applied in order to assess the content of benzene, toluene and xylene in the air as the frequency of components’ sample collection and analysis is once in ten days.