Royal Dutch Shell on Russia´s Sakhalin Island

In July 2012, the Russian Sakhalin Island residents (Prigorodnoye Production Complex), living adjacent to a highly polluted liquefied natural gas plant with oil and gas export terminals, filed a complaint at the OECD national contact point in the Netherlands against Royal Dutch Shell and three of the UK’s largest banks: Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”), Standard Chartered, and Barclays for their failure to adhere to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The group´s grievances included risks to public health, the food supply, and the environment.The Dutch NCP, however, rejected the case because of Shell´s lack of influence in the case.

Please also refer to the Sakhalin Environment Watch

Update December 2014:

In 2014, Gazprom and Shell, decided to move on with the expansion plans for Sakhalin II in far eastern Russia. Shell acknowledges the technical challenges related to the Sakhalin plant, including artic conditions and seismic activity. A scientific report by the Hydrometerological Centre of Russia and others point out the specific problems related to oil-spills in icy conditions: “The performance of all known technologies for spill response in ice conditions is such that even when detecting a massive oil accumulation it can not be rapidly collected”1 . This becomes especially important considering the world’s last Western Gray Whales live in this area. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) an oil spill would of course be devastating to the whale population, but the population is currently stable.2


  1. WWF (2012):http://www.wwf.ru/resources/publ/book/eng/770 (accessed 27.09.2014) []
  2.  Western Gray Wale Advisory Panel (2014):http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/wgwap_14_10_2013_wgw_distribution_report___final_en.pdf (accessed 25.09.2014) []
Case location
Sakhalin, Sakhalin Oblast, Russia
Russian Federation


Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
  • Environmental and Climate protection
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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