A ChevronTexaco-led oil grouping, Tengizchevroil (TCO), has been fined US $70 million by a court in Kazakhstan for environmental violations.
Kazakh officials point out that TCO was penalised for violations in storing sulphur, a by-product in oil production. The Kazakh government contends that the sulphur, which is stocked in large blocks on the Kazakh steppes, is a waste for which special permission is required for storage. But TCO claims it is a product. The fine follows another setback for TCO, when a US $3 billion expansion plan was deferred over differences on how to finance the project.
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