AKSAI, Western Kazakhstan Oblast, 7 September 2005 – Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO) today announced that annual shutdown activities are underway at the Karachaganak facilities. Due to complete in early October, this five-month programme includes planned maintenance, modification work and necessary repairs of KPO’s production facilities including the Karachaganak Processing Complex (KPC), Unit 2 and Unit 3.

Cameron Crawford, KPO Operations Director, said, "KPO is continually focused on improving its performance by looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce emissions at our production sites. Annual maintenance is necessary to ensure equipment asset reliability, continued production integrity, and a reduction in the risk of unscheduled outages. We believe this will help us to keep our commitment to excellence in the environmental, health and safety aspects of our operations".

Nurzhan Kamalov, KPO Corporate Affairs & HSE Controller, commented: “RoK law places specific obligations on operators of industrial facilities to carry out inspections of plant and equipment to ensure the integrity of plant. In order to undertake this work, facilities must be shutdown with the need to safely dispose of hydrocarbons prior to inspection and maintenance. In accordance with safety requirements, this activity may also necessitate some flaring, which can be seen from the flare stacks and may be associated with some noticeable noise. This can be more evident at night.

“The flaring that is currently occurring is part of the planned shutdown activities, which are expected to be completed this month. KPO has a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme that includes the continuous monitoring of air quality in and around the field. KPO's Ecology Control Group has four fixed Environmental Monitoring Stations and one mobile laboratory that provide continuous air quality monitoring data. In addition, Gidromet LTD carry out the sampling of air quality around the SPZ boundary and in the villages twice a day. The data is reported in local newspapers on a monthly basis. The ECG also investigates complaints that may be brought to their attention from the local community and informs relevant parties as required”, added Kamalov.