Tengizchevroil Fined $71 Million for Ecological Damage

A ChevronTexaco-led consortium has been fined $70 million ($11 billion tenge) by a Kazakhstan court for ecological damage caused by the storage of six million tons of sulphur at the Tengiz field.

"According to our data, this sulphur negatively affects the environment," Turaly Onerbayev, regional representative of the natural resources and environmental protection ministry said. Onerbayev said the regional court had ruled that Tengizchevroil lacked permission to store the sulphur at the site.

Tengizchevroil said it was disappointed with the ruling and is considering an appeal. The company said it viewed sulphur as a product, not a waste, and "the materials temporarily stored at Tengizchevroil facilities, including sulphur, are stored and handled in accordance with Kazakhstan's state standards and international standards." The joint venture is looking to export its sulphur, which can be used for road building and fertilizers.

Tengizchevroil is a joint venture led by ChevronTexaco with 50% with partners KazMunaiGas holding 20%; ExxonMobil holding 25% and LUKArco holding he remaining 5%.