Sakhalin II projects gets environmental clearence

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Moscow, Oct 9 (UNI) Sakhalin II oil and gas project off Russia's Pacific Coast has got a clean chit on the environmental front from the international consultants, Russian gas giant Gazprom said.

The experts have ruled thatthe project is in line with national and international environmental laws, RIA Novosti reported.

AEA Technology, an independent consultant to potential lenders to the Sakhalin II project, produced a final report on the commitments of project operator Sakhalin Energy, the press office of Gazprom, the operator's main shareholder, announced today.

The AEA report stated that as far as implementation of the plans are concerned there was a high level of compliance for most of the Project's facilities/assets.

Formerly led by Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, the ambitious Sakhalin II project was subjected to months of intense pressure last year from Russian authorities, who accused it of inflicting major environmental damage on Sakhalin Island, including deforestation, toxic waste dumping and soil erosion.

The dispute was largely resolved after Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom acquired a controlling stake in the project last December, and authorities coordinated in March 2007 a plan to fix the damage.

The report highlights examples of best practice and commends Sakhalin Energy's important role in establishing the independent Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, the management of drilling muds, the upgrade of municipal landfills, year round use of double hulled tankers, road safety campaigns, and the operator's other commitments.

UNI

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