Sakhalin II oil and gas development project - Offshore activities
Russian roulette for whales
"Relocation would reduce total economic hydrocarbon recovery from the field and would result in substantially increased costs - running into hundreds of millions of dollars - and significant delays in bringing the field on-stream." (PA-B briefing paper)
- Shell went ahead with installing its concrete platform base in July 2005. At this time it was still in discussion with the panel of whale experts regarding noise mitigation. Shell decided to ignore its own previous noise limit of 120dB and caused noise levels over 140dB, (decibels are a logarithmic scale).
- Shell also installed the platform in zero visibility conditions, meaning it was not possible to use observers to try and avoid collisions or assess impact on whale behaviour. Shell is not even able to report if they met their own criteria for low impact on whales as their monitoring was not adequate.
- Shell still hasn’t been able to explain how it would clean up an oil spill in ice conditions. The company is not even able to model winter oil spills, let alone demonstrate how it would respond. There are no proven techniques that would constitute a comprehensive oil spill response strategy. Shell is determined to use a critical habitat as a testing ground.