Kazakhstan's Ecology Minister Nurlan Iskakov said today the government has imposed a $609 million fine on the Chevron-led Tengizchevroil oil venture over environmental and other violations at the Tengiz field.
"As you know we also have big claims over Tengizchevroil," Iskakov told Reuters. "We have put forward a fine of 74.4 billion tenge or $609 million."
Iskakov said the fine was imposed due to various violations including what the government saw as the company's slow progress in dealing with vast sulphur stocks at Tengiz, in western Kazakhstan.
"Any company that does not fulfil ecological requirements will be dealt with in the harshest way," Iskakov said, adding that the matter was being handled by a regional court.
Chevron could not be reached for comment but it had previously rejected criticism of its environmental record in Kazakhstan, saying it managed its sulphur stocks in a safe manner consistent with Kazakhstan's laws."
Tengizchevroil was previously fined $71 million for open air sulphur storage, but that was reduced on appeal in 2003 to $7 million by the Supreme Court.