B.Y.SULTANLI Baku State University
Nowadays humankind is facing a range of global problems related to the anthropogenic natural impact. Pollution of the fresh water, increasing content of toxic components in soil water and also enormous quantity of atmosphere emissions and continuous rise of the radiation level are dangerous.From this consideration, the development of oilfields in the Caspian Sea causes serious environmental problems.
In 60s famous scientist-geographer, Professor Gasim Gul, scientifically proved that owing to the Caspian natural resources Azerbaijan has great potentialities for people’s prosperity. He defined the Caspian pollution as an ecological catastrophe. Professor’s speech sounded like a cry from the Caspian Sea. He was accused of nationalism for his ecological views. In reality, pollution of the Caspian Sea, which has begun at 50s, caused a dangerous situation in the region. Today the Caspian Sea is still polluted on a large scale. The Caspian Sea is an enclosed water body. It has no any way into ocean. Therefore pollution of the Caspian Sea is its “own pain” and also its cleaning is its “own problem” as well. But every basin has own self cleaning range. When pollution exceeds this scale, a need in “useful microbe” (in “cleaning microbe”) is occurred for self filtration. Providing the Caspian Sea with identical microbe by an artificial way is very difficult. As is known atmospheric oxygen plays a great role in biological cleaning of the Caspian Sea and other basins. But the Caspian can’t use this factor sufficiently, because it is polluted not only by usual chemical compounds and also by oil. Each drop of oil covers 1-2 square meters area the surface of water. And this cover prevents the contact of air and polluting microbes in water.
One of the problems destroying the Caspian environment is the pollution from the rivers of Kura and Araz (Araks) by high-toxic chemical compounds on the territory of Georgian and Armenia/ According of the recent data of the State Committee for Ecology and nature use control, from Georgia 300 million tons, from Armenia 265 million tons and from Azerbaijan 25 million tons of various wastes are annually discharged into the rivers of Kura and Araks.
But the cleaning capacity of existing facilities is 250 million tons of only. The rest 310 million tons of waste are delivered to the Caspian through the rivers of Kura and Araks.
Indeed it is a part of the indices indicating the Caspian pollution.
It is time to attract attention of international organizations to the pollution that must be an urgent problem on agenda.
Foreign embassies, journalists and companies should also pay attention to this matter because pollution of the environment in Azerbaijan as well as in its capital Baku causes negative impact not only on the health of the Azeri people and also themselves, complicating environmental situations in the world as a whole.
One of the reasons of the Caspian pollution is the extraction of oil in its equator.
Ecological danger associated with the onshore and offshore oil production as oil transportation and processing is occurred during the following phases:
a) Offshore oil field exploration;
b) Oil extraction;
c) Oil transport;
d) Oil processing and petrochemistry;
e) Oil products use;
f) Waste utilization;
g) Oil field exploration
During oil well drilling environment is polluted by the drilling mud’s containing various polymers, hydrocarbons and heavy metals, when considerable pollution of seawater is expected. In this process well flaring is very dangerous. Such accidents were repeatedly happening in offshore fields. However, these accidents were kept in secret.
b) Oil exaction
In this phase oil hydrocarbons, emissions and discharged waste waters are most
dangerous. 0.3 ton of waste water is discharged into the environment, when 1 ton of oil is extracted. During drilling process oil spill is accompanied by a number of negative effects leading to soil destruction, including the disruption, including the disruption of soil-vegetable cover, soil erosion thermokarst, desertification, decrease of land fund and wildlife.
c) Oil transportation
Majority of ecological disasters during oil transportation are associated both wit the transportation of oil across sea and break of pipelines. Such kind of accidents, causing great ecological danger is typical of Azerbaijan and NIS countries. During last years average 60 thousand of pipeline breaks, leading to enormous oil losses and contaminating the territory by mazut have happened in Russia only. Just the Khanti-Mansisk Autonomous Oblast’s accident resulted in 2970 tons of oil spill to the river Bolshoy Balik in 1995-96 years. It should be noted that during last years the aggression degree of the emulsions, pumped over pipelines were sharply risen. Oil spill in tanners also causes enormous damage to the nature. One of the resent accidents, occurred near Japon islands is still fresh in our memory; few years ago the French researchers analyzing Atlantic Ocean water have obtained very interesting results. It was found that 2/3 of the surface of the North Atlantic is covered by oil film (60-90 mg/m2). The Caspian Sea is not out of the matter. All information on oil spill during its transportation across the Caspian Sea was hidden from people. However, we won’t be mistaken if we accept that oil film on Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian is several times thicker than in the North Atlantic.
d) Oil processing and petrochemistry
Oil processing has more negative influence on the Caspian than oil extraction. Chemical and petrochemical complexes situated on the side of the river Volga also influence on the environmental condition of the Caspian. In 1996 only near the Volgograd city 267.7 million m3 of waste waters were discharged. The detailed information on the quantity of oil discharges into the Caspian Sea during the Former Soviet time and after Soviet times is absent. The discharges of oil enterprises and cuttings are pumped to underground depository. Today these depositories are practically filled. There is an apprehension that oil cuttings can fall into ground water and consequently to the river Volga and also the Caspian Sea because they are not enough hermetic. The volume of oil cuttings comes to 75-80 million tons.
About the methods of liquidation of the Caspian pollution.
In spite of the efforts being undertaken the Caspian pollution is inevitable. Majority of oil spills are removed by different oil collectors. These methods are combined with burning the oil on the sport on sea water surface. Amoco is successfully applying fire-resistant booms for oil spill response in sea. Oil can be removed completely from open water surface by this technology. Fine cleaning can be achieved through porous adsorbents such as quarts sand, peat, activated charcoal, sawdust or minerals (bentonite, shungite, etc.).
Lately the new types of high-effective adsorbents for cleaning of natural objects from oil and oil products, track have been suggested. They are various natural and synthetic polymers, ultra-dispersion oxide adsorbents and fibrous materials. Oil extraction in the Caspian should be considered from a position of the risk conception, proposed by the American ecologist J. Morgan in 1993. This conception introduced such ideas as risk visible and also controllable and uncontrollable. So, extraction of considerable quantity of oil can cause huge void in the Earth thick, witch in its turn can lead to tectonic changes of the earth’s crust – earthquakes. This kind of risk is invisible and uncontrollable.
The use of diesel and motor fuel with diverse anti-detonators is visible risk. In the developed countries of Europe and US the rate content of aromatic compounds fuel has decreased. This situation leads to necessity of working out and applying effective anti-detonator additions. This situation will entail non-reorientation of oil processing processes: decrease of reforming processes, share with increasing the role of izomerization and alkylization processes. Creating a new fuel for automobile transport, containing considerable quota of oxygen products such as: alcohol, aldehyde, ketone and others should be mentioned also.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the ecological situation associated with oil production and processing in our country shows that there are numerous unsettled problems in this sphere which require the first and decisive actions. Considering the situation in the Caspian Sea in global environmental aspect, we should recognize that today since never in former times is a great danger for the people living in littoral regions of our republic.
Solution of these environmental problems is possible just combining the efforts of specialists from diverse spheres of science and not only scientists and technologists, but also politics. REFERENCES
1.State lecture “On the state of environment of Russian Federation I 1995,Zelyoniy Mir (green world),Russian ecological newspaper.1996,№24.
2.Parinago O.P.,Davidova S.L.“Ecological problems of chemistry of oil”.Neftekhimiya (Petro-Khemistry),1999,v. 39,№1,p.3-13.
3.Morgan.J.Risk assessment.Scientific America, 1993, p. 39.