BP's Caucasus gas pipeline blows up, as conflict escalates along route

BP’s Caucasus gas pipeline blows up, as conflict escalates along route

A blast on the Turkish section of BP’s South Caucasus Gas Pipeline has shut down fuel exports, putting a stop to gas exports from  Azerbaijan to Turkey. The explosion took place in a forest between the villages of Yagbasan and Catag, in remote north-eastern Turkey, near the borders with Georgia & Armenia. The Turkish Ministry...
Bowing to a dead dictator: pipelines, personality cults and the US Ambassador

Bowing to a dead dictator: pipelines, personality cults and the US Ambassador

Azeri democracy activists were enraged when in September, the new US Ambassador to Baku bowed down in front of the memorial to the late dictator Heydar Aliyev, father of the current dictator Ilham Aliyev.  The State Department initially tried to claim that Richard Morningstar had only laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to...
As BP's "Contract of the Century" comes of age, new book reveals untold story of corruption & power

As BP’s “Contract of the Century” comes of age, new book reveals untold story of corruption & power

Today, BP’s Baku mega-oil project – one of its largest in the world – comes of age, 18 years since the Contract of the Century was signed in September 1994. To mark the anniversary, Verso Books and Platform are releasing a new book detailing its hidden story of geo-political manipulation, imprisonment of critics and environmental...
Shell frack Egypt, threatening scarce water resources; Egyptians demand moratorium

Shell frack Egypt, threatening scarce water resources; Egyptians demand moratorium

Shell is bringing fracking to Egypt, threatening the North African country’s already limited water resources. The company is using hydraulic fracturing technology to drill three wells in Egypt’s Western Desert, in the Alam El Shawish West concession. Concerned that scarce water resources will be poisoned, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) has condemned the...
Thatcher in Baku: How BP broke into Azerbaijan

Thatcher in Baku: How BP broke into Azerbaijan

The blog is based on an excerpt from The Oil Road – published with Verso on Sept 20.   ‘Lady Thatcher clearly remains a formidable foreign policy weapon for UK Ltd!’ (Foreign Office internal memo 24 September 1992) Internal Foreign Office documents obtained by Platform while researching The Oil Road reveal just how BP utilised...
An "unusual travel book" along a pipeline

An “unusual travel book” along a pipeline

A Guest Blog by John de Falbe of Sandoe’s Books. I just received an early copy of “The Oil Road: A Journey from the Caspian Sea to the City of London” by Platform’s James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello, published by Verso, due out in mid-September. I read it in manuscript: it’s a brilliant analysis of...
RBS & ECGD offer billions in public money to expand Caspian fossil fuel infrastructure

RBS & ECGD offer billions in public money to expand Caspian fossil fuel infrastructure

While the Tory government forces through unpopular cutbacks to the NHS, education and pensions, British public institutions plan to invest hundreds of millions – if not billions – of pounds into new fossil fuel infrastructure on the Caspian. Both the British Export Credit Agency (the ECGD – recently rebranded "UK Export Finance") and the Royal...

The Egyptian Revolution & Environmental Justice – Platform on Resonance FM Thurs 8pm

As both candidates claim to have won Egypt's Presidential elections, the military launches a "quiet coup", imposes martial law and awards itself legislative powers. Meanwhile, popular and grassroots struggles for social and environmental justice continue in Egypt. Tonight on Resonance FM, tune in to hear Platform's monthly radio show featuring Mel Evans & Mika Minio-Paluello...

Controversial Cairo PPP refinery receives $3.7 billion from World Bank, EIB, EFG Hermes

A refinery expansion inside urban Cairo is receiving hundreds of dollars in "development" lending, despite a popular campaign against construction. The Mostorod Refinery Project – part-owned by private equity firm Citadel Capital – is situated in Northern Cairo, between Shobra El-Kheima and Mostorod. Opposition to the public-private partnership has focused on forced evictions, pollution and...

Nazim Hikmet: “The Oil Road” meets “The Ballad of those who drink the Sun”

To mark Sunday’s performance of “The Ballad of Those tho Drink the Sun” celebrating the life and work of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, Platform is publishing a book excerpt on Nazim Hikmet, poetry & technology, the Euphrates versus BP’s Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. This is an edited excerpt from our upcoming book “The Oil Road: A Journey...
BP sponsors lobby group that welcomed executions in Egypt "to restore order" in post-election crackdown

BP sponsors lobby group that welcomed executions in Egypt “to restore order” in post-election crackdown

BP is sponsoring a business lobby organisation that enthusiastically welcomed election promises to crack down on dissent in Egypt with executions and brutal force, aiming to crush the revolution after the imminent Presidential elections AmCham  – the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt – hosted Mubarak-era Prime Minister and current Presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq for...

Draft cover for “The Oil Road” arrives in office – what do you think?

The draft cover has arrived for Platform’s new book “The Oil Road”, due out with Verso in September. We’re gathering input from our circles and supporters. Would you pick this up in a shop? What are the three first words that come to mind when you see this cover? Please tweet us @platformlondon or email...