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Drilling the pre-salt - is Brazil still a "land of opportunity" for BP and Shell?

Drilling the pre-salt – is Brazil still a “land of opportunity” for BP and Shell?

We are just days away from the fourth anniversary of BP’s announcement in 2010 that it was boldly going into the Brazilian offshore oil province, known in the industry as the ‘pre-salt’. Tony Hayward, BP CEO at the time proclaimed: “This strategic opportunity fits well with BP’s operating strengths and key interests around the world,...
"Why should I forgive you after all that I’ve seen?" Refineries and resistance in Texas

“Why should I forgive you after all that I’ve seen?” Refineries and resistance in Texas

Over September and October, three Platform staff traveled across North America to promote The Oil Road as well as learn from colleagues and friends there. This is the most recent blog by James Marriott from that trip, but you can also read how James travelled across the ocean by container ship and studied the history...
Richmond, California - winning against big oil

Richmond, California – winning against big oil

The most rewarding part of touring our book The Oil Road, for me, has been learning from experiences of people we visit. The book tour becomes part of the Road. Two weeks ago we presented the book in the San Francisco Bay Area, where tankers deliver crude from around the world, including the Ceyhan terminal...
A secret military subsidy - pirates and oil corps

A secret military subsidy – pirates and oil corps

New Internationalist featured a blog from Platform on our new briefing A Secret Subsidy: Oil companies, the Navy and the response to piracy. Here’s what we wrote: This week the Combating Piracy Conference has been taking place in London, behind closed doors. This industry-organised event brings together representatives from European Union, NATO and oil and...
Talking memes

Talking memes

How can we use images to tell the stories we want to tell – and avoid repeating the ones we don’t? Photo memes are fast becoming a viral hit. Quicker than 30 second videos, the combination of an image and a short piece of text is being used across social media to convey jokes or...
Show us the money - will Dodd Frank force oil companies to reveal payments

Show us the money – will Dodd Frank force oil companies to reveal payments

Last Wednesday oil and gas lobbyists had a very bad day in the office when new US laws were introduced requiring the extractives sector to publish the payments they make to host governments. Industry groups had been aggressively lobbying to water down the regulations and succeeded in delaying their introduction by 16 months. But last...
Oil companies gave cash and contracts to militants and warlords in Nigeria

Oil companies gave cash and contracts to militants and warlords in Nigeria

Shell and Chevron have funded armed militant groups in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria since at least 2003, according to oil-industry sources and US embassy cables. Both oil companies have also paid ‘protection’ money to other hostile groups for decades. Platform’s new briefing, as reported in the Daily Mail, is called Fuelling the Violence: Oil...
Exclusive interviews with Al-Jazeera on Shell's security spending in Nigeria

Exclusive interviews with Al-Jazeera on Shell’s security spending in Nigeria

On 20 August, Al-Jazeera interviewed Platform researcher Ben Amunwa about the leaked data that revealed Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in Nigeria. Unfortunately a technical hitch cut the first interview short. However, it’s worth watching, if only for the ‘shifty eyes’ at the end of the video as the line cuts out...
Data leak reveals Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in Nigeria

Data leak reveals Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in Nigeria

Shell spent at least $383 million on security in Nigeria between 2007 and 2009, according to company data leaked to oil watchdog Platform.[1] Shell’s leaked data is analysed in a new Platform briefing, Dirty Work: Shell’s security spending in Nigeria and beyond, which shows that a substantial amount of Shell’s security spending went into the...
Tangled up in US cables: an intern’s view

Tangled up in US cables: an intern’s view

  This post was written by Platform intern, Pip Brown. Back in October 2011, I gladly accepted the task of working together with Platform researchers and sifting through the US Embassy cables to find information on oil and conflict in the Niger Delta. How many could there be? I typed the words “Shell” and “Nigeria”...
New timeline launched on oil and conflict in Nigeria

New timeline launched on oil and conflict in Nigeria

Oil watchdog Platform has launched an online timeline which maps out the leaked US embassy cables on oil conflict in the Niger Delta. You can view the timeline here. Some 4,521 leaked US cables came from Nigeria between 2001 to 2010. The idea behind the timeline is to provide easy access to the wealth of information contained in these...

Risking ruin: Shell’s investments in Tar Sands, the Arctic and Nigeria

This article first appeared as an introduction to a report, Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria, published on 18 May 2012 by Indigenous Environmental Network and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. As economic austerity bites, major oil companies are making staggering profits. A high oil price in 2011 made Shell $30.92 billion in annual...