Kursiv, February 9, 2012 by Arpan Burkhanov

KPO leads by example

One of the largest Kazakh oil and gas companies - Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV continues to introduce innovative business practices. As always, the emphasis lies on health, safety and the environment.

The consortium of leading international oil and gas companies including the BG Group, Eni SpA, Chevron and LUKoil, Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV (KPO) actively imports into Kazakhstan the world's best business practices in the oil and gas sector. Ensuring labour safety and environmental protection is key.

This is not always solely about oil and gas production. Under obligations assumed under the company’s Municipal Waste Recycling and Environmental Action Plan in December 2011, KPO launched a pilot project to collect waste paper for recycling. Given the fact that recycled paper makes up the majority of municipal solid waste from KPO, this initiative was very timely. In 2011 alone, the company’s offices collected more than 22,820 tonnes of paper and cardboard waste and sent it to the processing plant in Pavlodar.

Commenting on the results of the pilot project, Manager for Infrastructure and Service Steve Grayson said the company's goal is to achieve world-class environmental performance at the Karachaganak project. "KPO aims to become a role model throughout the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan, and I hope the draft can be applied successfully in other enterprises across the country," Mr. Grayson said.

An equally important step in the implementation of a successful project is ongoing awareness and training of workers involved in the project on the need to collect and correctly sort it according to the regualtions. To achieve these goals, KPO conducted relevant briefings and presentations and prepared reports.

"In addition, the project promotes the introduction of paper recycling through the separate collection of wastepaper in daily practice on part of KPO partners as well as a more economical paper consumption. This not only contributes to the conservation of energy and natural resources, but also to the correct sorting of waste paper," says Gaziz Khasanov, occupational health and safety manager at KPO.

A decrease in the volume of waste being transported to landfills can improve environmental performance and increase the efficiency of the enterprise, he adds.

While noting the results achieved in its first experiment, KPO will continue to work to reduce the volume of solid municipal waste and improve the ecological situation at the Karachaganak field. This year, there are plans to introduce KPO’s project at all of its offices. The emphasis will be placed on raising staff awareness on the need to collect waste paper so in the future, KPO can become a model for its various contractors to get involved in the project.

It should be noted the KPO staff is enthusiastic of such initiatives, and welcomes them in every way. This is largely due to the fact the company is attentive and implements European-standards to ensure the employees have necessary conditions for operation and labor safety. Their efforts are regularly confirmed by a certified audit on safety management and environmental management systems for compliance with international standards.

Thus, in the autumn of 2011 the company successfully passed the re-OHSAS 18001, an international standard management system for labor protection, occupational health and safety, and environmental management system certified according to ISO KPO 14001.

"We are proud of this achievement. Our common desire is to continually improve the effectiveness of the management system in this area, to completely eliminate accidents at work and prevent any harm to the health of our employees,” said KPO General Director Giuseppe Pasi.

As a world class operator of a project like Karachaganak, one of the main goals for KPO is to ensure maximum performance in labour and occupational safety as well as environmental protection. "The successful completion of OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification is a well-deserved long-term confirmation of our efforts in this area,” said Mr. Pasi.

During the past decade, KPO has taken unprecedented measures to improve workplace safety at the Karachaganak field with truly incident-free production. Due to the introduction of advanced foreign standards and technology, KPO intends to continue to maintain a minimum impact on the environment.

The rational use of hydrocarbon and water resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous waste volumes, as well as eliminating leaks and spills are key components of the environmental protection programmes being executed by KPO. In particular, on the gas flaring issue – compared to other companies in the oil and gas industry, KPO is the undisputed leader. In the first half of 2011, gas utilisation amounted to 99.92%, which is unprecedented in international practice.