ECGD letter to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company
Confirmation of conditional support

by Export Credits Guarantee Department

first published 4 March 2004

In February 2007, The Corner House put in a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) asking the Department to indicate whether it had given any "confirmation of conditional ECGD support" for Shell's Sakhalin II oil and gas project.

On 13 June 2007, the ECGD released a letter it had written on 4 March 2004 to the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) confirming that it had approved conditional support for several UK contracts for the Sakhalin II project.

In March 2007, ECGD had confirmed in a letter to Friends of the Earth (which cannot be released for legal reasons as it is ECGD's property) that its 4 March 2004 letter was legally-binding on the Department. The March 2004 decision thus conflicts with ECGD's stated policy of giving preliminary indications of support "entirely without commitment".

ECGD's promise of support, moreover, was made before it had assessed the environmental and social impacts arising from Sakhalin II, whereas its own policies stipulate that support can be given only after such assessments have been made.


Related articles