Kazakhstan on Tuesday threatened halt production of oil by the Italian energy firm Eni in the country’s oil fields due to a breach of environmental obligations, the Interfax news agency reported.
According to Environment Minister Nurlan Iskakov in the capital Astana, it was legally obligatory to withdraw the company’s development license to the Kashagan deposits, in order to prevent irreparable damage to the environment. He said his ministry had notified the public prosecutor’s office.
Previously Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov threatened to revoke Eni’s status as a licensee. Eni had postponed the oil development originally planned for 2005 several times, with project costs rising from $57 billion to 136 billion. Kazakhstan’s Economic Minister Bachyt Sultanov claimed that the postponements had cost the state “a substantial sum.” (monstersandcritics.com)