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Reuters: Shell says no official word yet on Sakhalin probe

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:23 PM BST

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has yet to receive official word of a full environmental probe of its $20 billion (10.5 billion pound) Sakhalin-2 project in Russia’s Far East and work is continuing, a Shell spokesman said on Tuesday.

The head of Russia’s environmental agency RosPrirodNadzor on Monday ordered a full investigation into the Shell-led project, sparking fears the Kremlin is seeking tighter control.

“To the best of my knowledge, there has been no official notification of this audit,” the Shell spokesman said. “Work is continuing as normal.”

Analysts say Russia may be piling pressure on Shell and Exxon Mobil developments on Sakhalin Island in an attempt to renegotiate terms on their production sharing deals that were drawn up in the 1990s when oil prices were far lower.

A Kremlin source said on Monday that Russia’s main worries about Sakhalin-2 were environmental rather than political or business-led. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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