LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 -- Part of the pipeline built for the Sakhalin-2 project may have been built without proper government authorization, according to Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of the Russian Federal Service for the Regulation of the Use of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor).
Mitvol said the pipeline segment in question was built near the village of Sovetskoye and passes through the Zubrovyy nature reserve. He believes that segment was constructed after "unauthorized rerouting."
He said, "This is a crime punishable by law. We will examine the situation and transfer all the evidence to the prosecutor's office."
Meanwhile, starting Oct. 2 Rosprirodnadzor will start taking aerial photographs of the complete pipeline, which was built as part of the Sakhalin-2 project. The photographic results will be compared to the relevant documents on file to establish whether there are discrepancies between existing work and work authorized.
Rosprirodnadzor inspectors flew over a 200-km section of the pipeline route by helicopter on Sept. 29. The survey revealed areas prone to mudslides due to pipeline construction, Mitvol said.
He also noted the presence of incorrectly constructed crossings over rivers. "There are problems over many crossings which mean that most often these rivers have been made unsuitable for spawning," Mitvol said.
Mitvol said at least 3 months would be needed to draw up a full picture of the state of Aniva Bay after construction work has been carried out there for the Sakhalin-2 project.
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].