Stop Oil and Gas Operations that Harm Endangered Whales


Target: James Harland Taylor, general director of Exxon Neftegas Limited, Sakhalin branch

Goal: Don’t let Exxon Neftegas Limited harm gray whales with their expanded oil and gas operations.

Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) is going ahead with a plan to expand their oil and gas shipping operations off the coast of east Russia, despite repeated warnings from NGOs that doing so will harm endangered western gray whales. ENL plans to build a pier for shipping in Piltun Lagoon, which is a major migration area for the 174 remaining western gray whales. ENL has not said how they will prevent disrupting the whales or the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem. They have also not shown how they will reduce the impact of underwater noise from their boats; right now, scientists fear the boats will make a disruptive and unsafe level of noise that could severely harm the whales. There is also a high risk of collision between the whales and shipping vessels.

There is an alternative that ENL could use for their shipping routes that would not harm whales. By simply hauling their boats through the lagoon’s spit rather than its mouth, the vessels would not come in contact with the whales. Still, ENL refuses to halt its plan to build a pier, and they will start bringing ships into the lagoon in the next few weeks.

With an effective alternative available, there is no reason for ENL to potentially injure the western gray whales in the Piltun Lagoon. Sign this petition to demand that ENL uses this alternative and cease operations that could harm endangered whales.


Dear Mr. Taylor,

I’m writing to urge you to reconsider your plan to expand ENL’s oil and gas shipping operations to the Piltun Lagoon. Under your current plan, the western gray whale will be severely injured. There is a high risk of vessels colliding with whales, and the unsafe level of noise caused by the ships could harm the whales. Building a pier in the Piltun Lagoon will also damage the area’s fragile ecosystem.

Instead of expanding your operations to the lagoon, please use the alternative plan provided to you by numerous NGOs and scientists, and bring your ships through the lagoon’s spit, rather than its mouth. By taking this simple measure, you’ll save the lives of rare and endangered western gray whales.

With an easy alternative available, there is no reason to build a pier that could harm the native whales in the area. For the good of the remaining 174 western gray whales, please do not bring your shipping operation into the Piltun Lagoon.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Merrill Gosho

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