Environmentalists Urge Mongolian State Authorities to Probe “Illegal” Activities of Petro-China

By , 12 March, 2010, 1 Comment

A coalition of environmental protection movements in the country has sent a report to the President, the Parliament Speaker, the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Minerals and Energy, Finance, and Labor and Social Welfare detailing “illegal activities” by Petro-China Dachin Tamsag and demanded an inquiry into how the company has been allowed to violate Mongolian laws, pollute the environment, and harm local communities in several ways.

Petro-China has been working in three oil fields in Dornod aimag since 2005 on the basis of a product sharing agreement with the Government. Petro-China has refused to make available to the coalition a copy of the agreement, as also of its performance and monitoring reports, even though the NGOs have a constitutional right to the information.  Petro-China says these are “company secrets that cannot be disclosed to a third party”.

The coalition has referred in its report to the numerous cases of violations and improprieties in the company’s working revealed during inspections by the National Audit Office and the Specialized General Inspection Agency. Petro-China has consistently refused to take corrective measures.  The coalition now wants a detailed enquiry into specific terms of the agreement which, it says, violate several Mongolian laws.  It also wants to know why the contents of the agreement are not made public.

The coalition also seeks a clarification from the Mongolian state authorities on if it is tenable for the Petroleum Authority to defend and justify Petro-China’s actions by saying, as it has done, that “Chinese rules, procedures, and standards are being observed as the Chinese workforce follows Chinese technique and technology”.  The Authority has also accepted the Petro-China argument that an “evaluation of its work and future plans was made in China” and that this should be sufficient.

Petro-China employs 3,620 Chinese nationals, all of whom are exempted from paying the required fees to the Mongolian Government.

Source: Udriin Sonin newspaper; translated and delivered via the BCM Newswire by Mongolia Business Council

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