Tate’s (near) deafening silence on #AskACurator day

Wednesday 19th September was Ask a Curator day, with museums and galleries all over the world taking part, including Tate. The overwhelming majority of questions put to Tate curators were about it’s controversial sponsorship with relationship with BP, but Tate curators made only a single response. To be fair, it’s not the curators that are...

Shell’s 2012 Arctic drilling shelved

Last week, I wrote about Shell’s dubious ‘historic’ achievement in commencing the first drill hole off the coast of Alaska in the past two decades. Later the same day, Shell announced that it had to stop drilling due to ice approaching the drillship. Now, they’ve had to cancel this year’s drilling altogether. A company update...

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...

Shell commences Arctic drilling, US regulator releases ‘skimpy’ permit report

“It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades,” – a Shell spokesperson said as the company announced its “historic” first test well in offshore Alaska. And now is not a good time. Shell’s permit to drill was conditional on the company’s...

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...

Putting the Oil Road on the map – 5 star review kicks off campaign

‘The Oil Road’ opens the lid on the often-shady energy economy, weaving absorbing travel reportage into powerful investigative journalism…If you want to know why oil matters read this book. (Time Out – 5th September 2012) Platform’s campaign to put the Oil Road on the map has been given a fine start with our new travel...

“Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution” comes to London

A guest blog post by Mara Ranville. “Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution” (OR Books 2012) is a book and web toolbox that puts the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest into the hands of the next generation of change-makers. Part manifesto, part reference guide, Beautiful Trouble is the anti-textbook—not another how-to manual, but...

Strong Laws Needed To Curb Corporate Abuse

This is a guest post by Katie Redford, Director of EarthRights International.  For many in the international human rights community, the new data about Shell’s security spending in Nigeria – including outlays of over $380,000,000 for just the period from 2007 to 2009 – released last week by Platform, is not surprising. The multinational oil giant has had...

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

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...

AUDIO-FEST! Shell security spending hits the global airwaves

Here’s a selection of interviews with Platform on Shell’s security spending in Nigeria. Packing these – and these – into a single day was a logistical challenge to say the least. But doing so meant reaching an audience of millions across several continents. Hitting the radio waves was particularly important for us, since the source...

Dutch MPs investigate Shell’s “irresponsible and unacceptable” security spending

Following Platform’s publication of leaked internal data on Shell’s security spending in Nigeria and beyond, several Dutch MPs have submitted official questions to the Netherlands government, probing Shell’s record on human rights abuses. If only UK MPs would emulate their Dutch colleagues, we may actually see a measure of corporate accountability. Below is a rough...