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UpstreamOnline: Ministry to challenge Sakhalin drilling plans

By Upstream staff

Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry is to challenge in court the Shell-led Sakhalin 2 consortium’s plans to drill for oil and gas off the Siberian island, reports said.

The ministry said today it would file a court challenge to plans to develop oil and gas fields of Sakhalin, a day after calling for pipe-laying wrok for the project to be halted because of the risk of mudslides, the Associated Press reported.

The news service said analysts told it the move was the latest attempt to pressure state gas monopoly Gazprom a stake in what is to become the world’s biggest liquified natural gas development.

The news also comes amid increasingly robust attempts by the Kremlin to asset control over Russia’s strategic natural resources.

The Natural Resources Ministry would ask the Russian courts to revoke approval of a feasibility study by its environmental watchdog on which the consortiums development plans are based, the report said.

The same environmental group yesterday called for a halt to pipe-laying work on the island.

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