May 2022

Welcome to Caspian Voices, Crude Accountability's monthly newsletter for scholars, policy-makers, and civil society members with hard-to-find information from the Caspian and the Black Sea regions from the communities impacted by oil and gas development.

In this newsletter, learn about an exciting win for environmental defenders in Kazakhstan, find out how satellite imagery can be used as an accountability mechanism in international development, and take a close look at the players in the hydrocarbon sector profiting from authoritarianism in Turkmenistan.

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Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan Demands the Closure of 134 Oil Wells at the Kokzhide Field

March 11th, 2022 saw an enormous win for environmental defenders and the people of Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan ordered the oil companies CNPC-Aktobemunaigaz (China), KMK Munai (China), and Ada Oil (South Korea) to halt their work at the Kokzhide sands in western Kazakhstan. The Kokzhide sands are located on top of a massive underground freshwater aquifer, which is a major source of water for the Kazakhstani people.

Read more about the exciting news here in English and here in Russian.

Interview with a Scientist


Earlier this year, Crude Accountability collaborated with a team of researchers for our report, Flames of Toxicity, which focused on the impacts of the Sangachal Oil Terminal on communities in Azerbaijan, using both satellite imagery and on-the-ground monitoring to analyze the situation. To better understand the broader uses of satellite data, we sat down with satellite data and sustainable development researcher Seonaid Rapach about her research into how satellite data can be used to improve accountability, especially in the oil and gas industry; how international financial institutions can use satellite data to make more informed decisions; and how this technology can be used to track and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Read the conversation here.

Who is Who in Turkmenistan's Gas Sector?

Despite known corruption challenges, lack of government transparency, and gross violations of human rights in the country, many companies have chosen to work in Turkmenistan.

In an effort to an effort to provide accurate and detailed information about companies profiting off one of the most closed regimes in the world, Crude Accountability is presenting the updated version of Who’s Who in Turkmenistan, a unique dossiers of companies working in the oil and gas sector in Turkmenistan.

Read individually, each dossier profile presents basic background information on companies working or planning to work in the country, to the extent that the information is publicly available. Taken together, the dossiers speak to the strong - and in some cases, long-standing - desire by companies to seal new deals with the government of Turkmenistan despite issues of corruption and human rights violations.

See the Dossiers here.

Western Institutions Should Stop Enabling Corruption and Authoritarianism in Turkmenistan

Following the snap transition of power in Turkmenistan, Crude Accountability urges western governments and international institutions to demand transparency and accountability from the country’s new presidential administration.

Read our call to action and statement here.

COMING SOON: Turkmen Notebooks (Туркменскиe Тетради)

In partnership with human rights activists from Central Asia, we are launching Turkmen Notebooks, a unique archive of materials documenting the history of independent thought in Turkmenistan since it became a sovereign country in 1991.

The site is meant to preserve press releases and newspaper articles, memoirs, essays, reports, and other materials that portray Turkmenistan far differently than the official propaganda.

The platform is set to launch soon, so keep checking our website for details!

Images in this newsletter are liscened for editorial use via Adobe Stock and Stutterstock
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