Development of Kazakh Oil Field Could Cause Earthquake

Development of the largest oilfield in Kazakhstan could result in and earthquake, according to a report by Alex Kirby of the BBC. According to the report, Professor Muftach Diarov, a geologist, head of the Oil and Gas Institute in Atyrau, Kazakhstan said the hydrocarbons in the Kashagan field are under very high pressure - about a thousand atmospheres. The temperature of the petroleum is between 100 - 120 degrees Celsius. In such conditions the release of hydrocarbons will inevitably result in fluctuations of the earth's crust. A similar incident was recorded in a petroleum development area close to Aktau two years ago. Experts are currently developing an alternative way to recover oil in Kashagan, which would allow catastrophic consequences to be avoided.