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It was clear long before this month's announcement of a major cost overrun and delay in starting liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports that the Shell-led Sakhalin II project had run into trouble.
Shell had already admitted that the cost of phase two of Sakhalin II development was set to rise well beyond the original estimate of $10bn, but it had given few details. The news that the cost is to double reveals that the upward revision is much more drastic than most observers had expected.
It was also clear that construction of onshore gas and crude pipelines was running behind schedule. But Shell and its partners in the Sakhalin Energy consortium developing …