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Mail On Sunday: Shell faces court on Sakhalin venture

17 February 2008
By Lawrie Holmes

The use of hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money to support Shell’s oil and gas projects on the Russian Island of Sakhalin will be attacked at a hearing of the High Court on April 22.

The World Wildlife Fund and anti-corruption pressure group Corner House Research are leading the challenge.

They will contest the Government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department’s decision to underwrite $1 billion (£510 million) worth of contracts for the $22 billion Sakhalin 2 project in 2004, despite ministers insisting no decision had been made. 

The project has been criticised for increasing global warming and infringing on the feeding grounds of the endangered western gray whale.

James Leaton, WWF’s oil and gas policy adviser, said it might drive the whale into extinction.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has pulled its funding for Shell’s projects on Sakhalin.

Last year Shell was forced to surrender control of Sakhalin 2 to Russia’s Gazprom after pressure from the Russian regulators.

Last week Corner House, along with the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, took the Government to court in a judicial review over BAE’s arm sale to Saudi Arabia. They are contesting its decision to drop a corruption inquiry by the Serious Fraud Office into BAE’s Saudi arms deals. Judgment was reserved on Friday.
 

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