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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sakhalin-2 Drops Fund Requests

Gazprom's Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture with Royal Dutch Shell withdrew an application for funding from U.S. and British government-sponsored lenders because of delays in getting financing approval.

The U.S. Export Import Bank and Britain's Export Credit Guarantee Department, or ECGD, have "significant uncertainties on the timeline for their final decision-making," Ivan Chernyakhovsky, a spokesman for operator Sakhalin Energy, said Monday by telephone. "It's important to secure the project financing in good time before the completion of construction." Gazprom and Shell aim to complete "major works" at the $22 billion project by the end of the year, Chernyakhovsky said.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and commercial banks are expected to finalize project funding in the first half of this year, he said.

Sakhalin Energy, whose shareholders also include Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi, plans to raise at least $5 billion to fund the development.

The U.S. and British lenders have been studying whether the project meets their funding criteria. Sakhalin Energy has faced criticism from environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, which claims the development will affect fish-spawning grounds and habitats for endangered western gray whales in the Sea of Okhotsk.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development withdrew five-year-old plans to help finance the project after Gazprom took control of Sakhalin Energy last year.