Ministry of Ecology: I believe that perfection knows no limits

01 March 2022

Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Serikkali Brekeshev, visited the Tengiz field as part of a business trip to Atyrau Oblast and got acquainted with Tengizchevroil’s (TCO) environmental protection measures. Together with Zulfukhar Zholdasov, Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee and Alibek Bekmukhametov, Head of the Ecology Department of Atyrau Oblast, the guests visited the construction site of the Third Generation Plant, the Complex Technological Line (KTL), the Second-Generation Plant, as well as the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WTF) and Water Recycling Facility (WRF).

Given TCO’s record as an environmentally responsible company that is focused on continuous improvement of environmental performance, the Minister of Ecology encouraged the company to continue to improve production reliability in order to remain within the existing emissions limits as TCO increases production in the coming years with startup of the Future Growth Project-Wellhead Pressure Management Project (FGP/WPMP).

“I believe that perfection knows no limits, so we will insist on remaining within existing emissions limits and will continue this work,” said Serikkali Brekeshev, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Over the last 20 years of operation (between 2000 and 2021,) TCO reduced its air emissions intensity while increasing its total crude oil production 26-fold increase. This was achieved by leveraging monitoring and emissions data to invest in major capital projects aimed at improving operational reliability. Furthermore, thanks to process improvements and equipment upgrades, routine flaring of associated gas was eliminated in 2009 and today, 99% of produced gas is utilized for export or for the company’s internal use.

Since October 2021, TCO has exchanged real-time air quality data from four environmental monitoring stations (EMS) located adjacent to our area of operations and near the Sanitary Protection Zone. The EMS data is available on the AirKZ mobile application and Kazhydromet website, and the data will be viewable through an interactive map interface.

In addition to air quality protection, TCO recognizes the importance of high value freshwater that is fundamental to social, natural, and economic resources in the region and the company is strongly focused on its rational use. Water reuse in Tengiz in 2021 made up 46% of total water demand. TCO’s goal is to continue to provide reliable supplies of water for the growing water demands from our production facilities while maintaining the historical water withdrawal levels from the MV pipelines that dates back 10 years.

In 2016, TCO commissioned a wastewater treatment facility (WTF) and associated water recycling facilities (WRF) to focus on freshwater conservation and wastewater management. In addition, TCO introduced water saving campaigns promoting a water saving culture that has taught tens of thousands of TCO employees and business partners across Kazakhstan the importance of careful water conservation.

After visiting these facilities, Zulfukhar Zholdasov, Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee, noted: “We travel around the facilities a lot and it is obvious that TCO operates according to international standards. We saw WTF and WRF, of course they cannot be compared. Very modern equipment, there is a three-stage purification process, and the result is completely clean water. 46% of circulating water supply is high performance. Fairly high standards are also observed for gas flaring and emissions. Proper operation is being done by the company, but obviously we have a few comments, and there is always room for improvement. The Minister gave instructions to reconsider the flaring issue and through routine maintenance to consider a possible reduction in emissions.”