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Crude Accountability et al. vs. British Gas

Case overview

Date filed 6 June 2013
Current status Concluido
Issue Environmental, health & HR violations by KPO in Kazakhstan
Summary of the case The complaints concern the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Fields environmental, health and human rights impacts on residents of Berezovka village in Kazakhstan. They allege that the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating, B.V (KPO) Consortium, comprised of British Gas, ENI, Chevron, Lukoil, and Kazmunaigaz, has abused the human rights of the residents of Berezovka by polluting the air, harming the health of the community, and refusing to relocate residents to a safe, clean environment.

They further allege that KPO has repeatedly violated Kazakhstans environmental standards by exceeding emissions standards, improperly disposing of toxic waste, and polluting bodies of water. The complainants assert that, given the long history of environmental violations, KPO has not made significant attempts to improve its environmental performance and has failed to implement environmental management systems that are appropriate to the risks of its operations.

The complainants also allege that KPO has failed to disclose relevant non-financial information to stakeholders, failed to conduct appropriate due diligence, and failed to obey domestic Kazakhstani law with regard to the Sanitary Protection Zone, in which no one is allowed to live.
Developments/Outcome The UK NCPs November 2013 initial assessment narrowed the scope of mediation to those families that are located in the Sanitary Protection Zone with a focus on finding a mediated solution with regard to their relocation to a safe and environmentally clean location.

The NCP rejected the complainants request to examine relocating Berezovka village because the consortiums obligation to do so had not been substantiated. The NCP also concluded that a link between the KPOs operations and the sinkholes in the village had not been established.

A procedural issue to note is the NCP recommended the complainants bring in a UK partner since meetings will take place in London.

Both parties agreed to mediation and as a result began mediation with a professional mediator on 17 June 2014. After one year of meetings, the mediator reported that the parties would not be able to reach agreement within the timescales expected under the UK NCP process. As a result, the UK NCP informed the parties in July 2015 that it would begin further examination of the issues.

During the course of the drafting the complaint’s Final Statement, Crude Accountability also filed a Request for Procedural Review to the UK NCP’s Steering Board on 30 November 2016 challenging the NCP's draft Final Statement. The complainants argued that the NCP had not correctly applied the correct human rights standards and sought the necessary expertise in the process and that the NCP had failed to provide reasons for its conclusions. The Request was declined on 29 June 2017 (and published on 13 December 2017) stating that the Request was not well founded and that the Steering Board only reviews procedural failures.

The NCP then published its November 2017 its Final Statement After Examination of the Complaint on 13 December 2017 with the following determination:

-KPO did not take adequate steps to promote the households’ prompt resettlement and proper compensation in line with international standards, and as a result failed to meet its obligations under the Guidelines Chapter II Paragraph 12 to address impacts that they are linked to through its business relationship.

However, the NCP stated that the is not enough clear and authoritative guidance to establish whether the situation has affected the households ’human rights to an adequate standard of living and as a result, the NCP does not accept Crude Accountability’s claim that KPO has not met its human rights obligations under the Guidelines.

In order for KPO to meet its obligations to Chapter II, the NCP recommended the following:

-That KPO regards both households as entitled to resettlement arrangements consistent with the current IFC standard for Involuntary Resettlement, and follows the steps identified in the standard to remedy any deficiencies in the arrangements actually offered to them, completing any action required by May 2018.

The NCP committed to carrying out a follow-up report to the Final Statement in May 2019.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Salud y seguridad, Industrias extractivas / Sector minero, El desalojo y reasentamiento forzoso, Buscar / aceptar exenciones, Los derechos humanos, Medio Ambiente, Más de un PNC

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address Victoria Street 1-19 SW1H 0ET London, United Kingdom
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible British Gas
Company address
Company website
Company in violation British Gas
Country of operations Kazakstan
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
30 November 2017 National Contact Point United Kingdom declaración The Final Statement After Examination of Complaint download pdf (446Kb)  
29 June 2017 National Contact Point United Kingdom informe The UK NCP's Steering Board rejects the Request for Procedural Review download pdf (391Kb)  
30 November 2016 Crude Accountability carta A Request for Review of the draft Final Statement is submitted to the UK NCP's Steering Board  
1 June 2014 National Contact Point United Kingdom reunión The UK NCP engaged a professional mediator, and mediation was set to begin in June 2014.  
30 November 2013 National Contact Point United Kingdom aceptar Initial Assessment by the UK NCP download pdf (152Kb)  
6 June 2013 Crude Accountability presentar Complaint filed at UK NCP  

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