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Russia's State Environmental Agency Sues to Halt Sakhalin Energy Project


Russia's state environmental agency has filed suit against an international consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell to force a halt in development of a huge natural gas and oil field in the country's far east.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources has asked a Moscow court to halt work on the Sakhalin-2 project planned by European and Japanese companies until completion of a new assessment of its environmental impact.

Last month, Russia's Natural Resources Ministry ordered a halt in construction of a 20-kilometer section of the project because of the threat of flooding and mudslides.

Western and Russian news media say the construction problems could be tied to efforts by Russia's state natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, to gain a larger share of the consortium's project.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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