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Abu Dhabi-Based Oil Company’s Chief Apologizes To Kazakhs After Brawl

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The director of an Abu Dhabi-based oil company whose employees were involved in a mass brawl between local and foreign workers at an oil field in western Kazakhstan has apologized to “the Kazakh people.”

Kazakh media have reported that the June 29 brawl at the Tengiz oil field erupted after a Lebanese contractor shared an insulting photo of a female Kazakh colleague on a messaging app.

The brawl reportedly resulted in dozens of injuries, and hundreds of Jordanian and Lebanese workers were subsequently evacuated from the job site.

Kauash Khisham, identified in a July 1 video statement as the director of the Consolidated Contracting Engineering & Procurement S.A.L. Offshore, apologized to all who were offended by a worker’s actions.

Naming the employee by name, he said it “was a totally inappropriate incident” that did not comply with the company’s values and principles. He said the employee in question had been fired, and that a full investigation would be conducted.

He also said that the situation in Tengiz was stable and that nobody sustained serious injuries in the brawl.

However, various videos of the incident in the Atyrau region showed multiple people being kicked and punched during the incident. Some were covered in blood and their faces bruised.

Tengizchevroil, the joint venture formed between Chevron, ExxonMobil, KazMunaiGas, and LUKoil to develop Tengiz, said on July 1 that more than 40 people were injured in the brawl.

Hundreds of Jordanian and Lebanese workers were evacuated from the site after the fighting.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a tweet on June 30 that five of the 107 Jordanians working at the oil field were “slightly injured.”

About 150 citizens of Lebanon were evacuated from the oil field and were under Kazakh police protection, according to Giskard el-Khoury, the country’s ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Radio Free Europe:Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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