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TMCnet: Sakhalin-2 promoter denies Russian environment regulator’s claim

(Kyodo News International (Tokyo) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sep. 6–

MOSCOW — Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., an international consortium promoting an oil and natural gas development project off Russia’s Sakhalin island, on Wednesday denied a claim by the Russian environmental regulator that the exploration program could harm the environment, Interfax news agency said.

Sakhalin Energy, set up by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Japanese trading houses Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. and other concerns, issued the denial following a lawsuit filed by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources in Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to have the government withdraw its approval of the Sakhalin-2 project on the grounds of possible damage to the environment, Interfax said.

Stressing that the service’s claim is groundless, Sakhalin Energy said it has cleared almost all environment-related recommendations made by experts when the Natural Resources Ministry approved the project.

Observers say the lawsuit is in line with the Russian government’s call for Sakhalin Energy to accept state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom’s participation as no Russian concerns are involved in the project.

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