RA Nature Protection Minister: Oil and Gas Drilling Works Excluded in Specifically Protected Areas of Nature

RA Nature Protection Minister: Oil and Gas Drilling Works Excluded in Specifically Protected Areas of Nature

EcoLur

'Tashir Capital' CJSC owned by a businessman of Armenian origin Samvel Karapetyan will search for oil and gas in 7 regions of Armenia and Yerevan capital city. 'Armenian Petroleum and Gas Company' owned by 'Tashir Capital' has received the second positive opinion from RA Nature Protection Ministry to prospect for oil and gas.

The company is permitted to carry out prospecting works for 2018-2023 in the second conditional zones of the territory in Armenia – Yerevan City, whole Armavir and Aragatsotn Regions and partially in Ararat, Kotayq and Shirak Regions. Under the project, the total area of prospecting works will make up around 7250 km2.http://ecolur.org/hy/news/mining/tashir-capital-intends-to-search-for-oil-and-gas-in-yerevan/9882/

At the beginning of 2018, RA Nature Protection Ministry issued a positive opinion to the project on geological prospecting of oil and natural gas in the conditional first and third blocks of 'Armenian Petroleum and Gas Company'.http://ecolur.org/hy/news/mining/positive-opinion-to-tashir-capital-company-will-search-for-oil-and-gas-in-shirak-lori-and-tavush/9914/

Both projects mention there are specifically protected areas of nature in the prospecting areas. There are 9 specifically protected areas of nature in the second conditional block of the RA area. The 1st and 3rd conditional blocks of the RA area include 119 specifically protected areas of nature.

Under RA Nature Protection Ministry Press Secretary Marine Karapetyan, 'Environmental Impact Expert Assessment Center' SNCO submitted a warning in terms of specifically protected areas of nature, which was accepted by the company. It has been prescribed that prospecting works will be excluded in specifically protected areas of nature and forest areas.

In his interview with EcoLur, RA Nature Protection Minister Artsvik Minasyan said, 'Treat this like an official statement: any drilling for gas and oil in specifically protected areas of nature is excluded. If we speak about surface observations, it's permitted, but if there is any attempt to drill for gas and oil in specifically protected areas of nature, which will result in any problem for the specifically protected areas of nature, threaten the biodiversity, such an illegal action will be punished with all the strictness of the law.'

RA Nature Protection Minister claimed that any mining activities are excluded in specifically protected areas of nature, as these areas have special protection regime.

It should be mentioned that permits for the development of 5 metallic mines have already been issued for the areas adjacent to Areviq National Park in Syunik Region.

Reminder: with the governmental resolution 731-N dated on 2 July 2015 the area of Areviq National Park was reduced by 471.61 ha turning 33939.19 ha from 34410.80 ha. We don't exclude that the reduction of the areas of Areviq National Park is conditioned with the development of mining in this region.

19:35 March 30, 2018


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