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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Caspian Deal May Hurt Environment

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Oil drilling in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea could be disastrous to the environment, a prominent environmental activist warned Wednesday.

Mels Eleusizov is the head of the Kazakh ecological organization Tabigat.

He said he was particularly concerned about the shipment of a drilling rig through Russia's Volga River to the Caspian by the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Co.

"We are not against oil companies, we are against drilling in the Caspian,'' Eleusizov said. "It's a crime against mankind.''

Eleusizov said he had formed a new environmental group, For a Clean Caspian, and has asked international organizations for support.

The company is an international consortium consisting of Mobil, Italy's Agip, British Gas, France's Total, an alliance between British Petroleum and Norway's Statoil, Royal Dutch-Shell Group and the local KazakhstanCaspiShelf.