More than 10,000 seals in the Caspian Sea have died in recent weeks, and Kazakhstan’s environment minister, Serikbek Daukeyev, placed the blame yesterday on pollution. He said that expert analyses have found large amounts of toxic oil wastes and pesticides in the seals’ bodies, and suggested that the deaths may have been triggered by waste dumped in the sea by a giant oil project in the region, Tengizchevroil, which is being operated by Chevron, ExxonMobil, and LukARCO. A number of other oil drilling and exploration projects are also underway in the region.