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Monthly blog archive February, 2013
Shell suspends Arctic drilling for 2013

Shell suspends Arctic drilling for 2013

We’re celebrating Shell’s announcement that the drilling programme in the Alaskan Arctic has been halted for the year! Here are a few perspectives on why this has happened and what’s going to happen next… 1) Company public relations describe this as an effort to ensure the drilling is safe: “Shell remains committed to building an...
Art interventions - our presentation to Shake!

Art interventions – our presentation to Shake!

Last week Shake! shook it all up at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford – 25 young people tackling Arts, Media, Race and Power. Kevin and I were lucky enough to be invited to present to this inspiring and hyper-creative group of people on art interventions and oil sponsorship of the arts. We hope to...
Osborne's tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Osborne’s tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Back in the 70s, the UK and Norway took two very different approaches to the roughly equal share of North Sea oil and gas that they had within their territorial waters. With state-owned oil company Statoil at the helm, Norway cautiously put aside profits and levies from other oil companies operating within its fields into...
The price of gas: imports, repression and fuel poverty

The price of gas: imports, repression and fuel poverty

In a deplorable attack on the right to protest energy giant EDF is attempting to sue 21 activists for £5mn in a civil action. The No Dash for Gas campaigners occupied West Burton gas power station for 7 days by scaling two of the three 91m high cooling towers, brave people. They are going to...
Oil company mega-profits and the dwindling public purse

Oil company mega-profits and the dwindling public purse

Yesterday, The Observer ran a story about George Osborne promising to crack down on multinationals avoiding tax in some of the world’s poorest countries. Anger over corporate tax avoidance at a time of massive cuts 
to public spending has placed the issue on the political agenda, especially since widespread popular protest sparked by UK Uncut. The money...
The Flooding of Fares - are oil companies destroying an Egyptian village?

The Flooding of Fares – are oil companies destroying an Egyptian village?

In the village of Fares in southern Egypt, seventy homes have collapsed. School corridors are underwater, the cemetery has become a swamp and acres of mango orchards ruined. Their river didn’t flood and there was no torrential downpour. Instead, the water rose out of the ground. Starting as a trickle, it worked its way into...
Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Last week RBS chairman Philip Hampton took part in a live Q&A session on the Guardian in response to the Libor-rigging scandal. One of the questions that was put to Hampton by a reader was How do you continue to justify continued your role in financing the Canadian tar sands, arguably a greater crime than...
MAKE8ELIEVE - online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

MAKE8ELIEVE – online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

As an organisation that combines arts, activism and research with a pretty hefty focus on the damage caused by UK oil companies, we were super-excited to have a flick through the third issue of an online arts magazine MAKE8ELIEVE, that aims to “build international connections by publishing creative interpretations of one topic per issue.” It’s...
Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road - Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road – Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

A heavily shortened version of this list by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello first appeared in the Guardian in January 2012. In researching The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London, we feasted on others’ descriptions of the mountains and plains, villages and cities, open seas and jagged coastlines...