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Published on Oct 7, 2008
The Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea is one of the largest oil fields discovered in the last few decades. The field is developed by a consortium of oil companies including Eni, Total, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Inpex and KazMunayGaz with financial support from several banks such as BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Societè Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank and the ING Group.
Civil society groups have been raising concerns with BNP Paribas and other financial institutions about the environmental and public health dangers associated with Kashagan. An international Fact Finding Mission in the Northern Caspian region, conducted in September 2007, found evidence of extremely high environmental and social impacts and risks, and violations of international standards, including the Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards, in the development of Kashagans offshore and onshore operations.
The Caspian Sea is the largest reserve of fresh water in Central Asia. The natural life of a whole continent depends on it. If the oil industry destroys this sea, Kazakhstan will remain behind with a deserted land and a dead sea.