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Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, Kazakhstan

Local inhabitants and EJOs have long denounced severe environmental and air pollution without being heard. On November 28, 2014, a mass poisoning of children at the school of Berezovka occoured.


The village of Berezovka is located 5 kilometers away from Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, operated by Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO), a joint venture between KazMunaiGaz, Eni, BG Group, Chevron Corporation, and Lukoil.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate field, Kazakhstan
State or province:Western Kazakhstan
Location of conflict:Berezovka
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

-KPO (Karachaganak Petroleum Operating) is not an independent company. It is rather a joint venture among 5 companies: KazMunaiGaz, Eni, BG Group, Chevron Corporation, and Lukoil.

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Project area:28000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project17,600,000,000.00
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,200-1,400
Start of the conflict:01/03/2003
Company names or state enterprises:KazMunaiGaz (KMG) from Kazakhstan
Eni group (ENI) from Italy
BG Group from United Kingdom
Chevron Polska Energy Resources Sp. z o.o. from United States of America
Lukoil from Russian Federation
Relevant government actors:Government of Kazakhstan
International and Finance InstitutionsCompliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)
Corporación financiera Internacional (CFI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Public organization Jasil Dala
Crude Accountability EJO
Green Salvation EJO
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
Public association Shanyrak
Green Steppe, environmental organization of Berezovka.
Sergey Kuratov, Chairman of the Ecological Organization “Green Salvation”
Sergey Solyanik, Consultant, Crude Accountability
+7-707-7011271, [email protected]
Local Journalist: Lukpan Akhmedyarov; journal “Uralskaya Nedelya”, Uralsk
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactscardio-vascular, muscular-sceletal problems; vision loss, memory loss
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Relocation of 2 families, air quality alert system
Proposal and development of alternatives:Currently no official proposals are in place as the old ones could not be realized due to inaction of legal respondents (KPO and local and regional governments)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite the lawsuits and ejo activism nothing has considerably changed in the quality of life of the villagers, and even though the court ruled in favor of villagers' relocation, nothing has been done.
However, KPO has brought forward a few changes to make the information about their environmental impact more transparent
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[5] Supreme Court Ruling from 2008
[click to view]

[6] Court Ruling from 2009
[click to view]

Aarhus convention
[click to view]

Proceedings from the latest court ruling
[click to view]

[1]NGO Crude accountability description of the campaign
[click to view]

[2] KPO's response about Berezovka case from 2005
[click to view]

[3] 2003 health report
[click to view]

[4] Report on the results of the independently-conducted toxins test
[click to view]

[7] Info about targeting of Svetlana Anosova:
[click to view]

[8] Western Kazakhstai regional news source reporting on the November 28, 2014 incident:
[click to view]

[9] Official Kazakhstani portal reporting on the gathering of ministers on the federal level
[click to view]

2005 WKO decision:
[click to view]

Karachaganak Field Info:
[click to view]

Crude Accountability Consultant's report from May 2014
[click to view]

News Report about KPO fines:
[click to view]

13) Business-humanrights, Kazakhstan: Local residents blame Karachaganak oil & gas field (operated by KPO) for mass poisoning of children; company denies allegations, [10-02-2016].
[click to view]

14) Dinara Urazova, Kazakh Vice Prime Minister visits Berezovka village after mass poisoning of children,, 16 December 2014
[click to view]

15) Tatyana Kuzmina (Gyuzel Kamalova contriibuted to the story), 29 school students and teachers faint one after another in Western Kazakhstan,, 1 December 2014
[click to view]

Joanna Lillis, Kazakhstan: Major Gas Field Suspected in Children’s Poisoning, December 4, 2014.
[click to view]

Crude Accountability, Mass Poisoning of the Children in Berezovka: Causes of the Emergency and the Account of Events, December 10, 2014
[click to view]

KPO Investment Info:
[click to view]

KPO Air quality technology implementation
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[10] A mother of one of the poisoned kids at the meeting with the public held on January 20,2015:
[click to view]

[11] Regional health authority report:
[click to view]

[12] Final official remarks on the meeting where links between KPO gas emissions and poisoning were deemed 'inconclusive':
[click to view]

[13] KPO official Damiano Ratti’s statement:
[click to view]

18) Video: Crude Accountability, The Forgotten Children of Berezovka, December 24, 2015
[click to view]

17) Video: Crude Accountability, Berezovka: Exodus, December 19, 2015
[click to view]

5 Kilometers of Indifference, a film made by NGO Crude Accountability:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Yevgeniya Yatsenko, MICLA McGill University, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1517
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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