Gulzhan Nurakhmet, a Kazakh qualified lawyer. She has practiced as a lawyer in Natural Resources Group in one of the leading commercial law firms in the Central Asia and the Caspian Region. She has work experience with the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and White & Case Law Firm in London, UK.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AG BCF BCM GDP GHE GTL MPE MEMR Associated Gas Billion Cubic Feet Billion Cubic Meters Gross Domestic Product Green House Effect Gas-To-Liquids Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (Norway) Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (Kazakhstan) Ministry of Environment Protection (Kazakhstan) The Norwegian Continental Shelf The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
1. INTRODUCTION Every year when crude oil is brought to the surface, most oil-producing countries flare and vent large volumes of gas, which is equivalent to the combined annual natural gas consumption of Central and South America 1 or Germany and France 2 . According to the World Bank estimation the annual volume of this associated gas (AG) that is being flared and vented is about 110 BCM 3 . There is also a basis to make a statement that 10-13 BCF is flared daily4 . This is more than enough to meet the gas needs in the UK. Flaring of gas in Africa alone would be sufficient to produce twice more electricity that the Norwegian hydroelectric power system supplies annually 5 . It is widely recognized that flaring and venting of “valueless by-product”6 and “unwelcome stepchild” 7 of oil, leads to the pollution of environment by contributing to greenhouse effect (GHE) 8 . However this product that was historically disposed and wasted could potentially bring economic benefits, especially for the developing countries. Utilization of AG could be considered as a solution for different problems: it reduces the greenhouse emissions and simultaneously improves country’s economic condition due to the tendency of increase of the natural gas prices 9 . Recently Kazakhstan has enacted amendments to its petroleum legislation 10 that prohibits gas flaring and venting into the atmosphere by July 1, 2006. This research paper reveals the gaps in the national legislation, lack of efficient and effective regulatory procedures of flaring and 1
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