January 21, 2005



By Elena Butyrina


At the world largest oil and gas condensate deposit in the WKO, operated by international consortium Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO), the personnel of Unit 3, the gas preparation unit, has achieved a record-breaking achievement on labour safety. The KPO PR and Communications Department reported to Panorama that employees of Unit-3 worked over 3.5. million man-hours without a lost time incident (LTI).


The last occurrence of a time loss happened at Karachaganak over two years ago. Representatives from the consortium referred to the current indicator as “an excellent achievement”, stressing KPO personnel’s’ observation of the progressive methods and standards for safety, labour protection and environmental protection.


Unit-3, located in the northeastern part of the Karachaganak deposit, has operated since 1984. The unit conducts the separation of gas and liquid hydrocarbons and gas drying before shipment to Orenburg, in the form of unrefined products for final processing. Unit-3 includes the installation of new systems of monitoring, fire safety and protection.


Modernisation, which required an investment of USD 100 MM, was completed in April 2003. As part of this project at the Unit-3, additional lines of condensate supply were installed, control equipment and the fourth gas ventilation compressor. The upgrading of the unit not only allowed for increasing the level of condensate production up to 5 million tonnes annually, but also improved ecological indicators significantly. As a result, KPO obtained the opportunity to process and export associated gas, which was earlier subject to burning. In essence, the project for the improvement of the unit continued the broad ecological programme, in which smokeless burner technology was introduced at Karachaganak, reducing discharges of CO and soot into the atmosphere to a minimum.


Currently, KPO is implementing a plan for safety measures improvement, as well as one for safe behaviour during production, the wide-scale introduction of which began last year.


The KPO is a partnership, including BG Group (32.5%), Eni (32,5%), ChevronTexaco (20%) and LUKOIL (15%). The Final Production Sharing Agreement (FPSA), signed between the government of Kazakhstan and partner-companies in November of 1997, regulates KPO’s operations.


The reserves at the Karachaganak deposit total over 1.2 billion tonnes of oil and condensate and 1.35 trillion cbm of gas.