Consortium spends money to study industrial influence on whales
28th January 2004
The Sakhalin-1 oil and gas consortium spent four million U.S. dollars since 1997 to study industrial influence on the population of gray whales while developing sea deposits in the island’s north-eastern shelf, Tass learnt on Wednesday at the Exxon Neftegaz Ltd., which is the operator of the project.
Following the investigations, the consortium decided to use the most strict nature-protection measures in implementing its seismic survey programme. For instance, a four-five-kilometre protection zone between gray whales and a prospecting ship was made at the Odoptu deposit in 2001.
A directive was given to stop work if a single mammal was detected within the above zone. Apart from the above, the consortium decided not to use permanent moorages at the Chaivo deposit so as to limit difficulties for gray whales at their feeding places, situated offshore.
The first stage of the Sakhalin-1 project provides for developing two oil deposits in 2005-2007 and for delivering oil along a pipeline to a sea tanker terminal. The consortium plans to start exporting Sakhalin gas to Japan from 2008.
Reserves of the Sakhalin-1 deposits are estimated at 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 17,000 billion cubic meters of gas.