For immediate release
19 December 2017
Campaigners condemn BP’s “under-the-radar” merger in Argentina
BP has announced that the merger of its Argentinian arm Pan-American Energy and the Argentinian-Chinese downstream company Axion Energy is now complete.
Platform campaigner Anna Markova commented,
BP’s announcement is perfectly timed to attract the least attention possible, both in the UK and in Argentina where a huge government crackdown on protest is in progress. This under-the-radar merger could create the largest private integrated oil company in Argentina, with significant influence over internal hydrocarbons prices, and a crucial role in Argentina’s controversial shale gas mega-project, Vaca Muerta.
A report released by Platform and Observatorio Petrolero Sur earlier this year demonstrated that
- BP’s Argentinian arm Pan-American Energy (PAE) plans to have fracked 37 new wells by the end of 2017 on its Patagonian concessions.
- The company’s track record in Argentina includes an alleged $300 million bribe in 2007 and a series of refusals to admit to and clean up groundwater contamination.
- BP’s flagship Argentinian concession Lindero Atravesado, where 23 wells are supposed to have been fracked in 2017, overlaps with a town (Vista Alegre) that has passed a resolution to ban fracking, as well as a lake that provides drinking water to the provincial capital Neuquén.
The offices of Argentinian organisation Observatorio Petrolero Sur were ransacked three days prior to the release of the report, amid escalating repression against civil society in general and resistance to fracking in particular.