Greens send environmental demands to
oil & gas operators
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, 16 January 2003 - Fifty environmental
organisations on January 8 sent a list with environmental and social
demands concerning the implementation of the Sakhalin-1 and
Sakhalin-2 projects, Sakhalin Environmental Watch reported. The
document was sent to Sakhalin-2 operator Sakhalin Energy (SEIC),
Sakhalin-1 operator Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), Russian
governmental bodies, international and Russian organisations and
The group, among which are Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund
and other Russian and international environmental organisations,
suggests that the operators carry out the oil and gas projects on
Sakhalin according to the latest environmental standards in areas
having a sensitive eco-system, endangered species or a high
diversity of species.
The greens think that, currently, these environmental demands are
not fully observed. For example, SEIC has not yet moved towards
‘zero discharge’ standards in which drilling muds and cuttings are
re-injected into the oil field instead of dumped in the Sea of
Okhotsk, Sakhalin Environmental Watch reported.
The environmentalists also demanded that the operators reject the
idea of constructing underground pipelines in a seismic active zone
such as Sakhalin. They suggest following Alaska’s example where
pipelines were constructed on the surface using special supports.
The list also includes a demand for construction of pipeline bridges
over spawning rivers instead of underneath. The group insists oil
and gas transportation under icy conditions and dump of industrial
wastes in Aniva Bay should be stopped.
Other demands are an improvement of oil spill prevention
programmes and recovery of costs of oil spill liquidation from the
project operators. The environmentalists also demand that all plans
are discussed with the fishing industry and that environmental
information on the projects is made available to the public.
Another document the environmentalists sent lists of social
demands, such as increasing the financial benefit from the projects
to the local community. The environmentalists also suggested SEIC
and ENL pay taxes to the regional budget and sell gas in the local
market at reasonable prices.
The environmentalists think that the projects should not be
approved by the federal and regional authorities and supported by
banks before the operators have complied with the demands, Sakhalin
Environmental Watch reported.
The main goal of the demands is to minimise the harmful effects
of the oil and gas projects on the local environment and fishing
industry, not to stop or shut down the projects, Sakhalin
Environmental Watch stressed.
This article was published in the Sakhalin Independent.