Experts detect radioactive spots in Atyrau oil fields

Aug 03, 2001 02:00 AM

Experts of the Atyrau regional department for environmental protection detected radioactive spots in 20 fields of Kulsaryneft and Prorvaneft oil and gas subdivisions of Kazakhoil-Emba. Sometimes radioactive radiation reaches 1700 MicroRoentgenhour, while the maximum allowable rate is only 9-12 MicroRoentgenhour. The size of the spots ranges from tens to hundreds of square meters.
According to ecologists, the spots were formed as a result of a continuous discharge of formation waters containing uranium, radium, and thorium into troughs and open oil storage pits. During these years, nothing was said about the spots, which are hazardous for people working in the fields. Under the pressure of public organizations, which knew about these facts, ecologists developed a provisional programme for spots liquidation.

In order to acquire more detailed information, one of specialized companies in Almaty examined old oil fields. The Caspian Environmental Programme, an international organization, expressedits willingness to share financing of this expensive project. The remainder will be provided by oil-producing companies.

Source: The Times of Central Asia
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