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Rigzone: Japan Stays Optimistic Over Sakahlin-2 Project

By Kyodo News Service
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific           
Monday, September 11, 2006 

An international oil and gas development off Russia’s Sakhalin island, involving Japanese companies, will move ahead despite the Russian environmental regulator’s lawsuit to revoke government approval, a senior trade ministry official said Monday [September 11th].

“There can be many problems in the process of construction,” Takao Kitabata, vice-minister of economy, trade and industry, said at a press conference. The project will “move towards realization in the long run.”

Kitabata was referring to a lawsuit filed by the Russian Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources in Moscow last week, calling for the government to withdraw its approval of the Sakhalin-2 project on the grounds that the exploration program could harm the environment.

The project is promoted by Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., a joint venture set up by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. and other concerns.

The project will be “an important supply source of energy for Japan,” Kitabata said.

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