Company Waste Management
NCOC has an integrated waste and effluent water management system envisaging collection, transportation, partial disposal and further handover to an external organization. To prevent a negative impact on the Caspian unique flora and fauna, the Company maintains the “Zero Discharge” policy. All the wastes and effluents generated offshore are transported to onshore facilities for their further disposal. The Company monitors carefully the whole life cycle of wastes and bears a sole responsibility for own wastes starting from their generation to complete disposal.
Air Quality Monitoring
A set of actions aimed at stabilizing and improving the environmental situation in Atyrau Region includes an air quality monitoring system put in place by the Company. The system comprises 20 air quality monitoring stations located in the sanitary protection zone around the Company’s operational facilities, at the adjacent settlements and in the most functional areas of Atyrau.
The stations operate in a nonstop mode and measure concentrations of the following pollutants: hydrogen sulphide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon oxide.
The data is transmitted to the Company’s central workstation where it is stored, analyzed and processed. Simultaneously, such data is transmitted to Atyrau branch of the Republican State Enterprise “KazHydromet” and Atyrau
Region Department for Nature Resources and Nature Use Regulation.
The online monitoring of air pollutants and meteorological parameters is especially important in case of emergency situations as it allows following the movement and direction of the polluted air and taking immediately all necessary actions.
Marine Environmental Impact Monitoring
Since 1994, the Company has been conducting the marine environmental impact monitoring in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea. Such studies are aimed at assessing the environmental status at operational sites and verifying its compliance with environmental requirements.
These works are carried out in all seasons using specialized survey vessels. The monitoring covers the following environmental components: air, sea water, bottom sediments, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and ichthyofaunal.
Oil Spill Prevention and Response
NCOC places priority on the prevention of oil spills. Furthermore, no matter how confident we are of their prevention, NCOC is always prepared to respond quickly and fully to incidents were they to occur. By far the best defence against oil spills is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Oil spills are prevented by identifying spill risks at all project phases, from design to construction and operation, and ensuring that the highest safety standards are continuously applied to mitigate those risks.
We employ a wide range of innovative technologies, such as remote aerial observation with the use of GPS-GIS handheld units and other remote sensing methods to monitor, map and detect oil spills as well as define oil film thickness in both open water and ice conditions.
Computer-generated models of oil spill trajectories help responders understand where an oil spill might spread, depending on weather and sea conditions, and are a fundamental part of oil spill response planning.
In combination with environmental sensitivity mapping, this helps set priorities in response planning in order to preserve important habitats and minimize impact on the environment.
NCOC maintains a comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plan that is regularly drilled, including joint exercises with responsible government agencies. The Oil Spill Response plan has detailed sections for incidents along the pipeline, with environmental sensitivities identified and specific response guidelines established for each pipeline.
NCOC has a dedicated Oil Spill Response group, staffed by about a hundred fully-trained, full-time responders, maintenance personnel, and vessel crew for a dozen shallow draft vessels and several oil recovery barges. Tens of kilometers of oil boom, absorbent material, floating and collapsible tanks, containers, and other equipment have been specially procured for operating in the unique environment of the North Caspian Sea, and are warehoused at marine support bases in Bautino and Damba (the latter operated for NCOC under contract to KMG Systems and Services).
NCOC's priority is to design, build and then operate our facilities safely, so that incidents don't occur. The 7 km buffer zone around the Bolashak Onshore Processing Facility is sufficient to protect the public from any long-term health effects from air emissions. And it provides a conservatively high margin of safety, even for unplanned events.