After years of “collaborative” work with environmental groups, the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company continues to push aggressive development plans in an oil and gas field off the coast of Sakhalin Island, where the last 130 critically endangered Northern Pacific grey whales come to feed each summer and fall. This week, Sakhalin Energy announced plans to build a third oil platform in the area, even though it had previously decided two were enough, thanks to advances in drilling technology that allows one platform to serve several wells.
“We are astonished by the announcement from Sakhalin Energy that it intends to build a third platform,” said Wendy Elliott, Species Program Manager, WWF-International. “The company’s own detailed assessments concluded previously that two platforms would be preferable, both for environmental reasons and for the efficiency of the operation.”
Previously, Sakhalin Energy has cooperated with WWF and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has organized a panel of scientists to make recommendations about how the oil development can minimize impacts on the whales. BP and Exxon, by contrast, have proceeded with development activities without consulting the panel.