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FC working group probes into Sakhalin-2 affair

Aniva Bay.gif

A working group of Russia's Federation Council is probing into tensions over the Sakhalin-2 off-shore oil and gas project.

On Friday the group of upper house members, led by the chairman of the natural resources and environmental protection committee, Viktor Orlov, will visit the gas liquefying plant's construction site.

Nature conservation specialists argue that this project has virtually 'killed' the Aniva Bay. The world's biggest gas liquefying plant was expected to supply an annual 9.6 million tonnes of liquefied gas to the world market.

The charges followed when about three tonnes of dead fish was washed ashore. The length of the Aniva Bay's coast line is 200 kilometers. The premises of the gas liquefying plant are about three kilometers long.

The company that is building the facility, Sakhalin Energy, argues that it has complied with every single ecological rule it is expected to under Russian legislation. As for the dead fish, shrimps and mollusks found on the shore, the company disclaims any responsibility.

Fishermen say this season's catch of salmon in the Aniva bay was the biggest over the past eight years - 55,000 tonnes.

Russian regulators and watchdog bodies are very critical of the Sakhalin Energy-owned 800-kilometer oil and gas pipelines being laid in the island of Sakhalin. The two pipelines cross hundreds of rivers and mud-flow endangered areas in the foothills. Environmental supervision watchdog RosPrirodNadzor argues that construction work has caused enormous harm to Sakhalin. Sub-contractors deny this.

Federation Council members wish to inspect the area for themselves to be able to formulate their own judgement.

© Itar-Tass


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