OREANDA-NEWS  The government gives priority to Russian consumers in the development of the Sakhalin-2 project, Putin added.The Sakhalin-2 project is exploring two reserves — Piltun-Astokhskoye (mainly oil) and Lunskoye (mainly gas) — in the northeast of the Sakhalin shelf.

The project was managed by Sakhalin Energy, in which 50% plus 1 share belong to Russian energy giant Gazprom, 27.5% minus 1 share to British-Dutch petroleum company Shell, 12.5% to Mitsui & Co. Ltd, and 10% to Mitsubishi Corporation.In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on special economic measures in the fuel and energy sector amid the unfriendly actions of foreign states. The decree provided for the change of the Sakhalin-2 operator.

According to the document, the property of Sakhalin Energy is to be handed over to Russia's ownership with simultaneous transfer to the new operator for free use.Gazprom will maintain its stake in the project, while foreign firms have to declare within a month whether they agree to accept the same stake in the new operator. Then the Russian government will decide in three days whether to transfer a stake to a foreign company. The non-transferred shares will be sold, and foreign companies will receive proceeds minus the cost of any damage caused by them.On August 3, the Russian government ordered the creation of Sakhalin Energy LLC — the new operator of the Sakhalin-2 project with registration in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. On August 30, the Russian government published an order allowing Mitsui to take ownership of a 12.5% ??stake in the new operator. On the following day, Moscow also allowed Mitsubishi to transfer a 10% stake to DGS Japan Co., Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Mitsubishi. On September 1, Shell said that it will not participate in the Sakhalin-2 project, and informed its partners and the Russian government about it.