15 September 2006
BP’S troubles with its leaky Alaskan pipes are small beer. For a real glimpse of big oil’s coming travails, take a look at Royal Dutch Shell and its huge project on Sakhalin Island.
Costs at the north Pacific project have doubled to £10.6bn, as the consortium struggles in the harsh Arctic terrain, while state-owned monopoly Gazprom is pushing Shell to grant it a far bigger share of the action.
And Russia’s environment ministry has suddenly launched a court case against the project, which may be a prelude to government demands for fresh commercial concessions.