|Location||Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan (Central Asia)|
|Primary inflows||Amu Darya, Syr Darya|
|Basin countries||Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan|
|Surface area||17,160 km² (2004)|
28,687 km² (1998)
68,000 km² (1960)
The Aral Sea (Kazakh: Арал Теңізі, Aral Tengizi, Uzbek: Orol dengizi, Russian: Аральскοе мοре, Tajik/Persian: Daryocha-i Khorazm, Lake Khwarazm) is a landlocked endorheic basin in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda provinces) in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly A lake (from Latin lacus) is a Terrain feature (or Physical feature) a body of Liquid on the surface of a world that is localized to the An endorheic basin (from Greek endo ‘inside’ + rhein ‘to flow’ also terminal or closed basin) is a closed Drainage basin In Hydrology, the inflow of a Body of water is the source of the Water in the body of water The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia A drainage basin is an extent of Land where Water from Rain or Snow melt drains downhill into a body of water such as a River, Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly Turkmenistan ( Türkmenistan; also known as Turkmenia) is a Turkic country in Central Asia. Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, ( Kazakh: Арал, Russian: Аральск) is a small city in south-western Kazakh (also Qazaq and variants natively kk Qazaq tili, kk Қазақ тілі; pronounced tˈlə is a Turkic language closely related to Uzbek ( O‘zbek tili or O'zbekcha in Latin script, Ўзбек тили in Cyrillic script; أۇزبېك ﺗﻴﻠی in Arabic Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages A landlocked country is commonly defined as one enclosed or nearly enclosed by land An endorheic basin (from Greek endo ‘inside’ + rhein ‘to flow’ also terminal or closed basin) is a closed Drainage basin Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Aktobe ( Ақтөбе облысы) is a province of Kazakhstan. Kyzylorda (( Қызылорда облысы) is a province of Kazakhstan. Karakalpakstan ( Karakalpak: Qaraqalpaqstan Respublikası or Қарақалпақстан Республикасы; Uzbek: Qoraqalpog`iston Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly The name roughly translates as "Sea of Islands", referring to more than 1,500 islands of one hectare or more that dotted its waters.
Once the world's fourth-largest inland sea with an area of 68,000 km², the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s, after the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya that fed it were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects. The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops By 2004, the sea had shrunk to 25% of its original surface area, and a nearly fivefold increase in salinity had killed most of its natural flora and fauna. Salinity is the Saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of Water. In Botany, flora ( Plural: floras or florae has two meanings The first meaning flora of an area or of time period, refers to all Fauna is all of the Animal life of any particular region or time By 2007 it had declined further to 10% of its original size, splitting into three separate lakes, two of which are too salty for fish to live in.  The once prosperous fishing industry has been virtually destroyed, and former fishing towns and villages along the sea's original shores have become desolate ship graveyards. With this collapse has come unemployment and economic hardship.
The Aral Sea is also heavily polluted, largely as the result of weapons testing, industrial projects, pesticides and fertilizer runoff. Water pollution is the contamination of Water bodies such as Lakes Rivers Oceans and Groundwater caused by human activities The Aral Sea ( Kazakh: Арал Теңізі Aral Tengizi, Orol dengizi Russian: Аральскοе мοре Tajik / Persian: Daryocha-i For other uses of this term see Industry (disambiguation An industry (from Latin industrius, "diligent industrious" A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances used to kill a pest. Fertilizers ( also spelt fertiliser are chemical compounds given to Plants to promote growth they are usually applied either through the soil for uptake by plant Wind-blown salt from the dried-out seabed damages crops, and polluted drinking water and salt- and dust-laden air cause serious public health problems. The retreat of the sea has reportedly also caused local climate change, with summers becoming hotter and drier, and winters colder and longer. 
The plight of the Aral Sea is frequently described as an environmental catastrophe. There is now an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish what remains of the northern part of the Aral Sea (the Small Aral). A dam project completed in 2005 has raised the water level of this lake by two metres. Salinity has dropped, and fish are again found sufficient numbers for some fishing to be viable. The outlook for the far larger southern part of the sea (the Large Aral) remains bleak.
The major ecological problem is that diversion of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for irrigation has shrunk the Aral Sea dramatically; the Aral Sea has been drying up for about 50 years. Ecology (from Greek grc οἶκος oikos, "house(hold" and grc -λογία -logia) is the scientific study of The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops This has brought about a number of ecological and economic problems for the sea and the area. One of the greatest misuses of the Aral is that for the past forty years it has been a dumping ground for raw human sewage discharge, resulting in the extinction or extermination of many native fish. Sewage is the mainly liquid Waste containing some solids produced by humans which typically consists of washing water Feces, Urine, laundry waste and other In Biology and Ecology, extinction is the cessation of existence of a Species or group of taxa.
In 1918, the Russian government decided that the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya in the south and the Syr Darya in the northeast, would be diverted to irrigate the desert, in order to attempt to grow rice, melons, cereals, and cotton. Council of Ministers of the USSR (Совет Министров СССР tr The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia A desert is a Landscape or region that receives very little precipitation. Rice is a Cereal foodstuff which forms an important part of the diet of many people worldwide and as such it is a staple food for many Melon is a term used for various members of the Cucurbitaceae family with fleshy fruit Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp This was part of the Soviet plan for cotton, or "white gold", to become a major export. Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp In Economics, an export is any good or Commodity, Transported from one country to another country in a Legitimate fashion This did eventually end up becoming the case, and today Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest exporters of cotton. 
The irrigation canals began to be built on a large scale in the 1940s. Canals are artificial channels for water There are two types of canals water conveyance canals which are used for the conveyance and delivery of water and Waterways Many of the irrigation canals were poorly built, letting water leak out or evaporate; from the Qaraqum Canal, the largest in Central Asia, perhaps 30 to 75% of the water went to waste. The Qaraqum Canal (Karakum CanalKara Kum CanalGaragum Canal Каракумский канал Karakumsky Kanal, Turkmen Garagum kanaly in Turkmenistan is the Today only 12% of Uzbekistan's irrigation canal length is waterproofed.
By 1960, somewhere between 20 and 60 cubic kilometers of water were going each year to the land instead of the sea. Thus, most of the sea's water supply had been diverted, and in the 1960s the Aral Sea began to shrink. From 1961 to 1970, the Aral's sea level fell at an average of 20 cm a year; in the 1970s, the average rate nearly tripled to 50–60 cm per year, and by the 1980s it continued to drop, now with a mean of 80–90 cm each year. After seeing this, the rate of water usage for irrigation continued to increase: the amount of water taken from the rivers doubled between 1960 and 2000; cotton production nearly doubled in the same period.
The Aral Sea fishing industry, which in its heyday had employed some 40,000 workers and reportedly produced one-sixth of the USSR's entire fish catch, pretty much disappeared; so did the muskrat trapping in the deltas of Amu Darya and Syr Darya, which used to yield as much as 500,000 muskrat pelts a year. The muskrat ( Ondatra zibethicus) the only Species in Genus Ondatra, is a medium-sized semi-aquatic Rodent native to North America A delta is a Landform where the mouth of a River flows into an Ocean, Sea, Estuary, Lake or another river 
The disappearance of the lake was no surprise to the Soviets; they expected it to happen long before. As early as in 1964, Aleksandr Asarin at the Hydroproject Institute pointed out that the lake was doomed explaining, "It was part of the five-year plans, approved by the council of ministers and the Politburo. Hydroproject (Институт «Гидропроект» Gidroproekt) is a Russian dam and canal design firm Council of Ministers of the USSR (Совет Министров СССР tr Politburo, short for Political Bureau, Russian Politicheskoye Buro, is the executive organization for a number of Political parties, most notably Nobody on a lower level would dare to say a word contradicting those plans, even if it was the fate of the Aral Sea. "
The reaction to the predictions varied. Some Soviet experts apparently considered the Aral to be "nature's error", and a Soviet engineer said in 1968 that "it is obvious to everyone that the evaporation of the Aral Sea is inevitable. " On the other hand, starting in the 1960s, a large scale project was contemplated to redirect part of the flow of the rivers of the Ob basin to Central Asia over a gigantic canal system. The Northern river reversal or Siberian river reversal was a grandiose project to divert the flow of the Northern rivers in the Soviet Union, which "uselessly" Ob River (Обь also Obi, is a major river in West Siberia, Russia, the country's fourth longest Refilling of the Aral Sea was considered as one of the project's main goals. However, due to its staggering costs and the negative public opinion in Russia proper, the federal authorities abandoned the project by 1986. 
The sea's surface area shrank by approximately 60%, and its volume by 80%. SPOT (Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre is a high-resolution optical imaging Earth observation satellite system operating from space Dike Kokaral is a dike across a narrow stretch of the Aral Sea, splitting off the North Aral Sea (also called "The Small Sea" from the much larger Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, ( Kazakh: Арал, Russian: Аральск) is a small city in south-western Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world's fourth-largest lake, with an area of approximately 68,000 km² and a volume of 1100 km³; by 1998, it had dropped to 28,687 km², and eighth-largest. The amount of water it has lost is the equivalent of completely draining Lakes Erie and Ontario. Lake Erie (ˈɪəriː is the fourth largest Lake (by surface area of the five Great Lakes, and the tenth largest globally Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Over the same time period its salinity has increased from about 10 g/L to about 45 g/L. Salinity is the Saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of Water. A gram per litre or liter ( g/L) is a measurement of Concentration used to measure the how many Grams of a certain Substance As of 2004, the Aral Sea's surface area was only 17,160 km², 25% of its original size, and still contracting. By 2007 the sea's area shrunk to 10% of its original size, and the salinity of the remains of the southern part of the sea (the Large Aral) increased to to levels in excess of 100 g/L.  By comparison, the salinity of ordinary seawater is typically around 35 g/L; the Dead Sea's salinity varies between 300 and 350 g/L. Seawater is Water from a Sea or Ocean. On average seawater in the world's oceans has a Salinity of about 3 The Dead Sea (יָם הַמֶּלַח, "Sea of Salt"البَحْر المَيّت, "Dead Sea" is a salt lake between
Even the recently discovered inflow of sublacustric groundwater discharge into the Aral Sea will not in itself be able to stop the desiccation. This inflow of about 4 billion cubic meters per year is larger than previously estimated. This groundwater originates in the Pamirs and Tian Shan mountains and seeks its way through geological layers to a fracture zone at the bottom of the Aral Sea. The Pamir Mountains are located in Central Asia and are formed by the junction or Knot of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and The Tian Shan (天山 Pinyin: Tiān Shān "celestial mountains" also commonly spelled Tien Shan, is a Mountain range located in Central
In 1987, the continuing shrinkage split the lake into two separate bodies of water, the North Aral Sea (the Lesser Sea, or Small Aral Sea) and the South Aral Sea (the Greater Sea, or Large Aral Sea); an artificial channel was dug to connect them, but that connection was gone by 1999 as the two seas continued to shrink. The North Aral Sea is the portion of the original Aral Sea that is fed by the Syr Darya river In 2003, the South Aral further divided into eastern and western basins; the loss of the North Aral has since been partially reversed (see below). Shrinkage of the lake also created the Aral Karakum, a desert on the former lakebed
Work is being done to restore in part the North Aral Sea. Aral Karakum is the name given to the new desert that has appeared on the seabed once occupied by the Aral Sea. Irrigation works on the Syr Darya have been repaired and improved to increase its water flow, and in October 2003, the Kazakh government announced a plan to build Dike Kokaral, a concrete dam separating the two halves of the Aral Sea. Dike Kokaral is a dike across a narrow stretch of the Aral Sea, splitting off the North Aral Sea (also called "The Small Sea" from the much larger Work on this dam was completed in August 2005; since then the water level of the North Aral has risen, and its salinity has decreased. As of 2006, some recovery of sea level has been recorded, sooner than expected.  "The dam has caused the small Aral's sea level to rise swiftly to 38 m (125 ft), from a low of less than 30 m (98 ft), with 42 m (138 ft) considered the level of viability. The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International " Economically significant stocks of fish have returned, and observers who had written off the North Aral Sea as an environmental catastrophe were surprised by unexpected reports that in 2006 its returning waters were already partly reviving the fishing industry and producing catches for export as far as Ukraine. The restoration reportedly gave rise to long absent rain clouds and possible microclimate changes, bringing tentative hope to an agricultural sector swallowed by a regional dustbowl, and some expansion of the shrunken sea.  "The sea, which had receded almost 100 km south of the port-city of Aral, is now a mere 25 km away. Aral, also known as Aralsk or Aral'sk, ( Kazakh: Арал, Russian: Аральск) is a small city in south-western " There are plans to build a new canal to reconnect Aralsk with the sea. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, by which time it is hoped the distance to be covered will be only 6 km. A new dam is to be built based on a World Bank loan to Kazakhstan, with the start of construction also slated for 2009 to further expand the shrunken Northern Aral eventually to the withered former port of Heralsk. 
The South Aral Sea, which lies largely in poorer Uzbekistan, was largely abandoned to its fate. Projects in the North Aral at first seemed to bring glimmers of hope to the South as well: "In addition to restoring water levels in the Northern Sea, a sluice in the dike is periodically opened, allowing excess water to flow into the largely dried-up Southern Aral Sea. " Discussions had been held on recreating a channel between the somewhat improved North and the desiccated South, along with uncertain wetland restoration plans throughout the region, but political will is lacking.  Uzbekistan shows no interest in abandoning the Amu Darya river as an abundant source of cotton irrigation, and instead is moving toward oil exploration in the drying South Aral seabed.  Vast salt plains exposed with the shrinking of the Aral have produced dust storms, making regional winters colder and summers hotter.  Attempts to mitigate these effects include planting vegetation in the newly exposed seabed. In the Northern Aral, recently higher sea levels have slightly moderated these effects in some areas, and the spring season now sees long-missing rainfall. 
As of summer 2003, the South Aral Sea was vanishing faster than predicted. In the deepest parts of the sea, the bottom waters are saltier than the top, and not mixing. Thus, only the top of the sea is heated in the summer, and it evaporates faster than would otherwise be expected. Based on the recent data, the western part of the South Aral Sea is expected to be gone within 15 years; the eastern part could last indefinitely.
The ecosystem of the Aral Sea and the river deltas feeding into it has been nearly destroyed, not least because of the much higher salinity. An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants animals and micro-organisms( Biotic factors in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical ( A delta is a Landform where the mouth of a River flows into an Ocean, Sea, Estuary, Lake or another river The receding sea has left huge plains covered with salt and toxic chemicals, which are picked up and carried away by the wind as toxic dust and spread to the surrounding area. Salt is a Dietary mineral composed primarily of Sodium chloride that is essential for Animal life but toxic to most land plants The land around the Aral Sea is heavily polluted and the people living in the area are suffering from a lack of fresh water and other health problems, including high rates of certain forms of cancer and lung diseases. Cancer (medical term Malignant Neoplasm) is a class of Diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled Respiratory Disease is the term for Diseases of the Respiratory system. Crops in the region are destroyed by salt being deposited onto the land. The town of Moynaq in Uzbekistan had a thriving harbor and fishing industry that employed approximately 60,000 people; now the town lies miles from the shore. Mo‘ynoq (also spelled as Moynaq, Muynaq and Muynak) is a city in northern Karakalpakstan in western Uzbekistan. A harbor or harbour (see spelling differences) or haven, is a place where ships may shelter from the Weather or are stored The fishing industry includes any industry or activity concerned with taking culturing processing preserving storing transporting marketing or selling fish or fish products Fishing boats lie scattered on the dry land that was once covered by water, many have been there for 20 years. The only significant fishing company left in the area has its fish shipped from the Baltic Sea, thousands of kilometres away. The Baltic Sea is a Brackish inland sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N Latitude and from 20°E to 26°E Longitude.
The tragedy of Aral coast was portrayed in the 1989 film, Psy ("Dogs"), by Soviet director, Dmitriy Svetozarov. The film was shot on location in the actual ghost town, showing scenes of abandoned buildings and scattered vessels. A ghost town is a Town or City that has been abandoned usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or due to natural or human-caused More recently, in 1999, German filmmaker Joachim Tschirner has produced the documentary "Der Aralsee" for the channel Arte. Arte (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne is a Franco-German TV network.
On 9/10 June 2007 BBC World broadcast a documentary called 'Back From The Brink?' made by Borna Alikhani and Guy Creasey that showed some of the changes in the region since the introduction of the Aklak Dam. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt in one fashion or another to " Document " reality
Many different solutions to the different problems have been suggested over the years, ranging in feasibility and cost, including the following:
In January 1994, the countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan signed a deal to pledge 1% of their budgets to helping the sea recover. Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly Turkmenistan ( Türkmenistan; also known as Turkmenia) is a Turkic country in Central Asia. Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (ˈkɻ̩gɪztɑn (AmE or /'kɝgəztan/ (BrE Kyrgyz: Кыргызстан; Russian: Киргизия or Киргизстан or Кыргызстан By 2006, the World Bank's restoration projects especially in the North Aral were giving rise to some unexpected, tentative relief in what had been an extremely pessimistic picture. 
In 1948, a top-secret Soviet bioweapons laboratory was established on the island in the center of the Aral Sea which is now disputed territory between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This article is about the island For the album by Folk metal band Arkona, see Vozrozhdeniye. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Biological warfare (BW — known as a germ warfare, biological weapons and bioweaponry — is the use of any Pathogen ( Bacterium A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more States or over the possession or control of land by one state after it has conquered Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly The exact history, functions and current status of this facility have not yet been disclosed. The base was abandoned in 1992 following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Scientific expeditions proved that this had been a site for production, testing and later dumping of pathogenic weapons. Biological warfare (BW — known as a germ warfare, biological weapons and bioweaponry — is the use of any Pathogen ( Bacterium In 2002, through a project organized by the United States and with Uzbekistan assistance, 10 anthrax burial sites were decontaminated. According to the Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Infections, all burial sites of anthrax were decontaminated. Anthrax is an acute Disease in humans and animals caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis which is highly lethal in some forms 
Ergash Shaismatov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, announced on August 30, 2006, that the Uzbek government and an international consortium consisting of state-run Uzbekneftegaz, LUKoil Overseas, Petronas, Korea National Oil Corporation, and China National Petroleum Corporation signed a production sharing agreement to explore and develop oil and gas fields in the Aral Sea, saying, "The Aral Sea is largely unknown, but it holds a lot of promise in terms of finding oil and gas. Ergash Rahmatullayevich Shoismatov (Russified form Shaismatov is also used is the current Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan. According to the Constitution of Uzbekistan, the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan and the deputy ministers are appointed by the President Events 1363 - Beginning date of the Battle of Lake Poyang; the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders— Chen Youliang and Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The politics of Uzbekistan take place in a framework of a presidential Republic, whereby the President of Uzbekistan is both Head of state and Uzbekneftegaz is a state-owned holding company of Uzbekistan 's oil and gas industry LUKoil () (ЛУКойл lukɔɪl is Russia 's largest Oil company and its largest producer of oil. Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian owned oil and gas company that was founded on August 17 1974. Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC is the national oil and gas company of South Korea and one of the most important industrial companies in the country The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC ( Simplified Chinese: 中国石油天然气集团公司 Traditional Chinese: 中國石油天然氣集團公司 There is risk, of course, but we believe in the success of this unique project. " The consortium was created in September 2005.