Rich Cookson’s next dispatch from Sakhalin:
The Deputy CEO of Sakhalin Energy, David J Greer, is bullish about his company’s impact on Sakhalin, dismissing many of his critics’ claims as “absolutely wrong”. “We bring joy and happiness to the people of Sakhalin,” he says. “And we are providing clean and efficient energy to an energy-starved world.”
He continues: “We have done absolutely nothing in our works that has had any impact on the whales whatsoever,” he says. “I swim with whales and dive with them – the last thing I want to do is be associated with their destruction.”
Even though the cost of Sakhalin II has doubled – from USD10bn to USD20bn – Greer says the project is still “very profitable – it’s a good investment for shareholders”. Fresh from a “very positive” meeting with bankers from EBRD and other institutions, Greer says he is “very confident” that EBRD will agree the loan SE has asked it for. “If banks like EBRD are not prepared to invest in a project like this, the question I have is how can they invest in any Russian project?
“If we are able to demonstrate to the world that this can be pulled off, I’ve no doubt that this will lead to other projects in this area. Very few members of the public reflect on how the energy they use gets to them,” he says. “The reality is that the industry will have to move into more and more remote areas. If we didn’t do this here, someone else would – but we’re the best-placed people to do is transparently. The alternative is other with less stringent standards.”
Read more from Rich on Monday