developments and launched the LNG production that Russia had not known before, but, more importantly, it brought Russian hydrocarbons to the Asia-Pacific region and built up Russia’s solid presence in that market.
The current agenda for Russia is to develop its massive reserves of gas in the Arctic and other remote areas. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Sakhalin Energy was a kind of a laboratory to test new technologies and approaches and that our LNG success triggered new LNG projects in Russia.
The scientific and technological potential of our project is such that I am sure we will continue making significant inputs to all LNG-related areas – from building new LNG facilities and using new LNG technologies to shipping LNG cargoes and negotiating new LNG contracts. The latter brings to mind a curious example of Sakhalin Energy once delivering an LNG cargo to a very unusual buyer, oil-rich Kuwait.
As for our future development plans, you may know that Gazprom’s Management Committee Head Alexei Miller and Shell CEO Ben van Beurden recently signed the Road Map to develop FEED documentation for the Sakhalin-2 Train 3 LNG Project.
OGE: Sakhalin Island is famous for its unique environment and wildlife, especially marine mammals. Could you dwell a little bit on the efforts Sakhalin Energy has been taking to protect the environment in project development areas?
Dashkov: Sakhalin Energy uses a systemic approach to environmental protection. We make sure not one production solution is approved until all associated potential impacts have been closely considered. Our Biodiversity Protection Program is a good example of such a systemic approach. A detailed description of environmental activities would take too long, so I will give you just one example of how we are protecting and studying gray whales. At the early stages of oil and gas developments offshore of Northeast Sakhalin, the scientific community and public at large, both in Russia and internationally, were very concerned about potential impacts from the company’s activities on gray whales and their habitats. Sakhalin Energy decided to undertake comprehensive scientific research and to tap the best international practices and knowledge to assess and minimize potential impacts on the whales. The company asked appropriate government agencies and research institutes of the Russian Academy of Science to assist in arranging and implementing the collection and interpretation of the gray whale data.
The results of the research were used as a basis for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) required for the Sakhalin-2 Project to be given a go-ahead by Russian government authorities and international lenders.
In 2004, seeking independent review of its technical solutions and their potential impact on the gray whales, Sakhalin Energy asked the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to convene under its auspices a special group of experts that would assess the company’s measures to protect whales and issue recommendations. The IUCN has been chosen because it is the oldest, and the world largest, global environmental network of over 1,000