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The Observer: Shell’s Bermuda arm seeks money from UK taxpayers

Nick Mathiason
Sunday July 30, 2006

The Shell-owned consortium behind the $20bn oil and gas project in Sakhalin off the east coast of Russia is seeking UK taxpayers’ money to help pay for the scheme, even though it is based in the tax haven of Bermuda.

Campaigners are demanding the Export Credits Guarantee Department deny funds to Sakhalin Energy. James Leaton of WWF said: ‘ECGD was set up to promote UK exports. Less than 5 per cent of the project is British and it is already 75 per cent complete. It is unacceptable that taxpayers’ money is being spent to endorse projects based in a tax haven that contribute to climate change.’

The ECGD is evaluating whether to issue credit guarantees to Sakhalin that could total $1bn. Shell said: ‘UK contractors will benefit from multi-million pound contracts on this project.’

Sakhalin-2, the world’s most expensive infrastructure project, will allow gas to be frozen and sent on ships to south-east Asia and beyond. It has doubled its original $10bn budget and is vital to Shell’s future. Gazprom is negotiating for a stake in the scheme, which would dilute Shell’s share. Shell is desperately seeking finance around the world for the project.

Shell last week reported record profits on revenues of $83.1bn. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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