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Reuters AlertNet: Greenpeace protests against CSFB’s Sakhalin work

Reuters AlertNet: Greenpeace protests against CSFB’s Sakhalin work

Monday 27 Jun 2005

Source: Reuters

MOSCOW, June 27 (Reuters) – Greenpeace campaigners held a protest vigil outside Credit Suisse First Boston’s Moscow office on Monday against its involvement in a Shell-led energy project in the Russian Far East which they say threatens rare whales.

Around a dozen protesters in orange jumpsuits paraded outside CSFB’s Moscow office with signs that read “Stop financing Sakhalin oil” and “Nature is worth more than oil.” Other similar protests were planned in London and New York.

“This bank is seeking about $5 billion to finance the main phase of this project,” said Vladimir Chuprov, Greenpeace Russia’s energy coordinator.

“We consider this project as a very dangerous process. It creates a threat for the grey whale population.”

CSFB denied it was providing funding. It said it was acting as financial adviser to Sakhalin Energy and conducted detailed reviews of transactions with potential environmental risks.

“In the case of Sakhalin, we concluded that the client is taking the environmental compatibility of the project, as well as the concerns of the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) very seriously,” a spokesman at CSFBsaid.

Shellis majority shareholder of Sakhalin Energy, the firm developing the Sakhalin-2 project near the feeding ground of endangered Western Grey Whales, just north of Japan.

But Sakhalin Energy says it will not cause any disturbance to the whales. Recently it decided to reroute a pipeline to avoid harming them, although environmental group Bankwatch said it was still worried and urged financiers to pull out.

Sakhalin Energy’s plans for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on Sakhalin Island represent the biggest foreign investment in Russia and the world’s biggest LNG project.

The Sakhalin oilfields hold one of the largest reserves under development in the world with 1.2 billion barrels of crude oil and 500 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Japan’s Mitsuiand Mitsubishihave 25 percent and 20 percent respectively in Sakhalin Energy.

Sakhalin Energy was not immediately available for comment.

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