In recent years, the fuel and energy industry has become a driving force for economic development in Russia. As demonstrated in the Energy Strategy developed by the Russian government in 2003, the role of oil companies will be increasing to meet the demands of the Russian economy. The Energy Strategy calls for a significant increase of production and distribution of crude oil and other exhaustible resources for export in order to develop the fuel and energy industry by 2020. This activity in the oil sector inevitably creates an increased possibility of environmental accidents and contamination thus threatening the ecological integrity of the Russian environment.
WWF’s goal is to prevent and reduce the negative effects of the oil and gas sector on the Russian environment by making oil companies more environmentally responsible.
Accomplished through the efforts of WWF:
WWF’s attention has been directed towards the prevention and clean up of oils spills after the disastrous accident in the Kerch Strait in 2007 where more than 2,000 tons of heavy oil leaked into the straits between the Black and Azov Seas. Though WWF is developing a project to rescue oiled birds in the region, the key role in protecting the environment from the negative effects oil spills lies with the government. In November 2007, WWF and other ecological organizations sent an appeal to the Russian Government and to the State Duma including a list of high priority measures to resolve the problem of oil spills.
Sakhalin II oil and gas development project:
What is the price for endangered gray whales?
Phase 2 of the “Sakhalin II” project is a 10 billion dollar initiative for oil and gas development in Far East Russia. The Sakhalin Energy Consortium is led by Shell, with Mitsubishi and Mitsui functioning as the other key shareholders.
The Consortium has applied for project finances from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the US Export-Import Bank, and the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation, but after three years the potential lenders are still not satisfied with the environmental credentials of the project.
WWF and its partners have continued to make the financial institutions aware of the environmental issues created by the “Sakhalin II” Project. There have also been protests at the Credit Suisse First Boston, which is the advisor to the project.
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The consortium has applied for project finance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the US Export-Import Bank, and the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation. But after three years the potential lenders are still not satisfied with the environmental credentials of the project.
WWF and its partners have continued to raise issues with the financial institutions. There have also been demonstrations at Credit Suisse First Boston, the advisors to the project.
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