Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

RIA Novosti: Russia’s environment ministry continues probes into oil cos.

14:20 | Monday 16/ 10/ 2006
(Adds paragraphs 3-9)

MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s natural resources minister pledged Monday to carry out further checks into compliance with environmental legislation by oil companies working in Russia, including major independent and state-controlled crude producers.

“This is a routine process,” Yury Trutnev said. “We will tighten environmental requirements. This will also apply to LUKoil, Rosneft, and TNK-BP.”

Russia’s environmental authorities have recently been upping pressure on oil producers. In September, the Natural Resources Ministry withdrew a key permit for the vast Sakhalin II hydrocarbon project in Russia’s Far East, led by Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, and last week launched checks into Russia’s largest crude producer, LUKoil [RTS: LKOH].

The Sakhalin II project, being implemented under a production-sharing agreement dating back to 1994, has faced accusations of inadequate safety, massive volumes of waste disposal, seismic threats, erosion, and threats to marine life.

Britain, the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan, whose companies are involved in the giant project, have protested against the crackdown as unfair and warned it will damage Russia’s investment climate.

Trutnev said he did not rule out imposing major sanctions against the Sakhalin II operator over environmental violations.

And the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources said last week it has uncovered serious infringements of environmental regulations by LUKoil at 21 oil extraction sites in the northwest Urals and West Siberia, and has demanded the revocation of relevant production licensing agreements.

Trutnev said the environmental watchdog has sent an inquiry to the Federal Tax Service on payments made by the company for the use of deposits to which it holds licenses.

In late September, the ministry also announced that it will launch probes into another PSA agreement – the Kharyaga deposit in northern Russia – implemented by French Total, and the Kovykta gas project in East Siberia, developed by the Russian-British venture TNK-BP, saying it is absolutely routine work.

“Russia has been developing economically,” the minister said. “And people grow increasingly careful about their daily bread, as well as the conditions they live in.” and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: