In the Russian Far East work has begun building a two billion dollar gas export terminal on the island of Sakhalin . It's part of the biggest oil and gas project being undertaken in the world. This report from Damian Grammaticas:
On the southern end of Sakhalin island, giant bulldozers and earth moving equipment are ripping up the ground. On the site the international energy company, Shell, backed by Japanese partners, is building a huge modern terminal to process and export natural gas to Asia and the Pacific Rim. Sakhalin lies a hundred kilometres north of Japan. The island is about the size of Britain and vast reserves of oil and gas have been found off its shores. The Shell-led consortium has an exclusive production sharing agreement with the Russian government. It's now operating Russia's first offshore oil platform in the sea close to Sakhalin.
Sakhalin was a prison island under the Tsars and fought over by Japan and Russia in the Second World War. Russian and other international oil companies, like Exxon Mobil and BP, are now also developing Sakhalin's resources, spending over twenty billion dollars in the process. So it's now the site of the world's newest oil boom. Gleaming offices and hotels are springing up fast. If the projects are successful, they will help place Russia firmly on the map as one of the world's dominant energy suppliers.