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Accountancy Age: Shell project faces tax haven criticisms

Oil giant seeks financial support for troubled Sakhalin project from UK taxpayers

Alex Hawkes, Accountancy Age, 31 Jul 2006

Shell is facing opposition in its attempts to raise finance for its overspent Sakhalin oil and gas project because the consortium behind it is based in a tax haven.

The group, which is owned by Shell, is seeking cash from UK taxpayers to help fund the project.

James Leaton of WWF told The Observer: ‘It is unacceptable that taxpayers’ money is being spent to endorse projects based in a tax haven that contribute to climate change.’

The UK’s Export Credits Guarantee Department is considering whether to issue credit guarantees totaling £1bn to the project, the paper reported.

Leaton said: ‘ECGD was set up to promote UK exports. Less than 5% of the project is British and it is already 75% complete.’

Shell said: ‘UK contractors will benefit from multimillion-pound contracts on this project.’

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