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Osborne's tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Osborne’s tax breaks for North Sea oil and a Thatcherism flashback

Back in the 70s, the UK and Norway took two very different approaches to the roughly equal share of North Sea oil and gas that they had within their territorial waters. With state-owned oil company Statoil at the helm, Norway cautiously put aside profits and levies from other oil companies operating within its fields into...
Oil company mega-profits and the dwindling public purse

Oil company mega-profits and the dwindling public purse

Yesterday, The Observer ran a story about George Osborne promising to crack down on multinationals avoiding tax in some of the world’s poorest countries. Anger over corporate tax avoidance at a time of massive cuts 
to public spending has placed the issue on the political agenda, especially since widespread popular protest sparked by UK Uncut. The money...
Making a Killing: Oil Companies, Tax Avoidance and Subsidies

Making a Killing: Oil Companies, Tax Avoidance and Subsidies

Oil company mega-profits are being made at the expense of the public purse, as youth centres shut, hospitals struggle and the queues at food banks grow. Companies like BP & Shell receive major government support including direct subsidies and military and diplomatic services, but seem to pay very small amounts of UK tax in comparison...
The Flooding of Fares - are oil companies destroying an Egyptian village?

The Flooding of Fares – are oil companies destroying an Egyptian village?

In the village of Fares in southern Egypt, seventy homes have collapsed. School corridors are underwater, the cemetery has become a swamp and acres of mango orchards ruined. Their river didn’t flood and there was no torrential downpour. Instead, the water rose out of the ground. Starting as a trickle, it worked its way into...
Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Last week RBS chairman Philip Hampton took part in a live Q&A session on the Guardian in response to the Libor-rigging scandal. One of the questions that was put to Hampton by a reader was How do you continue to justify continued your role in financing the Canadian tar sands, arguably a greater crime than...
MAKE8ELIEVE - online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

MAKE8ELIEVE – online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

As an organisation that combines arts, activism and research with a pretty hefty focus on the damage caused by UK oil companies, we were super-excited to have a flick through the third issue of an online arts magazine MAKE8ELIEVE, that aims to “build international connections by publishing creative interpretations of one topic per issue.” It’s...
Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road - Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road – Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

A heavily shortened version of this list by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello first appeared in the Guardian in January 2012. In researching The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London, we feasted on others’ descriptions of the mountains and plains, villages and cities, open seas and jagged coastlines...
Celebrating women's leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

Celebrating women’s leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

If you go down to Tate’s oil tanks this Sunday, you’re sure for a pretty amazing piece of participatory performance art. Hundreds of women over the age of sixty will convene in The Tanks at Tate Modern as participants in Suzanne Lacy’s new performance artwork Silver Action. Women from across the UK who took part in significant activist...
Shell guilty: Court in the Hague orders Shell to pay compensation over oil spill in Nigeria

Shell guilty: Court in the Hague orders Shell to pay compensation over oil spill in Nigeria

It’s big news. For the first time, Shell has been found guilty in a court outside of the country in which it inflicted damage; in this case, in a court in the Hague for an oil spill in Nigeria. Shell will be forced to pay compensation to a farmer whose land and livelihood was ruined...
Shell on trial - landmark ruling on oil spills due this Wednesday

Shell on trial – landmark ruling on oil spills due this Wednesday

This Wednesday a Dutch court will rule on whether Shell should clean up oil damage that destroyed a group of Nigerian farmers’ land in a landmark case that could lead the way for a spate of similar actions in the future. The farmers, whose land has been destroyed by oil from Shell pipelines, have travelled...
Another storm for Shell highlights risks in financing Arctic oil & gas exploitation

Another storm for Shell highlights risks in financing Arctic oil & gas exploitation

On Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year when in southern Alaska there’s only a dull half-light for a handful of hours, Shell’s immense drilling rig Kulluk was dragged out to sea from Dutch Harbour, bound for the port of Seattle. This 28,000 tonne machine was being pulled past the Aleutian Islands though worsening...
The Oil Road at the Mosaic Rooms, London, Thur 13th December

The Oil Road at the Mosaic Rooms, London, Thur 13th December

James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello will be discussing The Oil Road at the Mosaic Rooms in Kensington. 13th December, 7pm, free The Mosaic Rooms A. M. Qattan Foundation Tower House 226 Cromwell Road London SW5 0SW   In a unique journey from the oil fields of the Caspian Sea to the refineries and financial centres...