The Aral Sea is situated in Central Asia, between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan. Up until the third quarter of the 20th century it was the world’s fourth largest saline lake, and contained 10grams of salt per liter. The two rivers that feed it are the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, respectively reaching the Sea through the South and the North. And that is the biggest ecologic problem not only for Uzbekistan but for all Asian countries. And it also impacts on population living around Aral Sea.
The international consortium of Uzbek national holding company "Uzbekneftegaz", Russian "Lukoil" and China's CNPC, intends in 2017. proceed with further exploration, arrangement and development of hydrocarbon deposits in the Aral Sea. Currently, work on the exploration part of the final stage. This year it is planned to drill two appraisal wells, taking into account the results of seismic and exploratory drilling.
In 2005. international consortium founded JV «Aral Sea Operating Company» as operator of exploration work. To date, open and validated appraisal drilling hydrocarbon reserves amount to 16 million. Tons of equivalent fuel.
Further intensive development of oil and gas fields will lead to an artificial drying of the Aral Sea with the subsequent deterioration of the ecological situation in the Aral Sea region.
Against this background ecology predict the following negative factors:
Firstly, the landscape of the Aral Sea basin, which currently retain water, it is located in an area suspected of drilling and survey and assessment work, it is "Umid", "Western Aral" and "Ak-Tepe." Their artificial drainage will lead to shallowing of the northern part of the so-called the South Aral Sea.
Secondly, given the permanent, the strongest annual and seasonal winds in the region, there is a risk of raising dust, salt and other chemicals with the drained areas and their negative impact on the climate, biological and demographic situation in the region.
Third, the features and characteristics of the land on which it is supposed to study and identify gas fields, may require expansion of technological work deep into the waters of the Aral Sea.
In this regard, the work on assessing the prospects of the east of the Aral Sea, which were conducted by the operator since the start of the project from 2006 to 2011 years, were unsuccessful. In the absence of the expected hydrocarbon reserves, the developers, it was decided to continue exploration in the north-west direction in the blocks "West Aral" and "Umid". Prospects discovered gas reserves shows that in the medium term will begin prospecting for new sites using more aggressive techniques, containing serious risks to the ecological system of the region. It is noted that about 25% of the work falls on the deep-water area, it is up to 40 meters and 25% for transit and the coastal zone, and only 50% of the land.
By the way it should be noted that the intention of the major foreign investors to participate in the implementation of the project dictated by geopolitical interests rather than economic calculations.
Drying of the Aral Sea is very big problem, and it became national trouble . This problem began existing long years ago. And it is still on. Today it became one of the huge ecological trouble. About 35 million people who live around the sea are under influence of this problem. Nowadays many scientists have been working on experiments for solving this problem.