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...

Oil money and the Academy

A guest blog post by Dr Alice Bell, an academic and writer interested in relationships between science and the public. She blogs at http://alicerosebell.wordpress.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @AliceBell BP is to invest £64 million to set up an International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) based at the University of Manchester. It...

Hold Shell to account for its human rights abuses in Nigeria

Dear friends, Over the past 48 hours, Shell’s active role in human rights abuses in Nigeria has been exposed in a new Platform briefing: Dirty Work: Shell’s Security Spending in Nigeria. The briefing analyses financial data from Shell’s security department, leaked to Platform by a concerned ex-Shell manager. The leaked data covers three bloody years of...

Shell Security Spending Data Mapped on Guardian Data Blog

Platform and the Guardian Data Blog have mapped Shell’s global security spending for 2008. The graphic is based on leaked internal financial data. You can find Platform’s full briefing on this issue here.