Oil development in the Northeast Caspian Sea is challenged by a number of physical and biological environmental factors. Physical factors include complex climatic and hydrologic conditions. Biological factors consist of unique and sensitive ecosystem, and strict environmental regulations, limiting duration of operations and waste disposal options. To address these challenges oil companies have to adopt management practices aimed to minimize environmental impact, mainly concerning waste management, navigation and oil spill response preparation. Studies on sediments and benthos around a number of offshore exploration and appraisal wells showed changes in benthic communities within 50-300 m distance around some of these wells caused by sediment resuspension, petrogenic hydrocarbon run-offs and possible spills of drilling cuttings or drilling mud. These changes were limited, however, in both time and space. To avoid more adverse impact in the future it is suggested that construction and navigation activities should be limited, especially during biologically sensitive seasons, waste management practices and procedures reinforced. Special considerations should be given to rigs and platforms decommissioning.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.