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Divide and fall? Total criticise Arctic oil drilling

Divide and fall? Total criticise Arctic oil drilling

As Andy Rowell wrote this morning, “this is big news”. Total are the first major oil company to publicly state that companies should not be drilling for oil in the Arctic. A divide amongst the oil majors will only increase pressure on companies, like Shell, who despite having to abandon this years drilling plans, still...
MPs find government support for Arctic drilling 'reckless'

MPs find government support for Arctic drilling ‘reckless’

The UK government’s support for Arctic Oil drilling was labelled ‘reckless’ today by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been quietly supporting oil companies’ Arctic ambitions but this is the first time there has been public scrutiny of the department’s actions in relation to Arctic drilling. The Committee published...
Shell's 2012 Arctic drilling shelved

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...
Shell commences Arctic drilling, US regulator releases 'skimpy' permit report

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...
Que Sera Sera: the UK Government and Arctic oil

Que Sera Sera: the UK Government and Arctic oil

Last week ministers appeared in front of the Environmental Audit Committee to defend their position on Arctic oil extraction. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Polar Regions Unit states that while it is concerned with “the effects of climate change on the Arctic” they also recognise “the potential of the Arctic to strengthen energy security” –...
EU announces Arctic policy, but what does it mean?

EU announces Arctic policy, but what does it mean?

Yesterday (3rd July) the European Commission published a document outlining its policy position on the Arctic region. Alarmingly, one of the action priorities listed in the press release is "Promotion and development of environmentally friendly technologies that could be used by extractive industries in the Arctic". In the Communication full text (p9) they add: In...
Planes, claims and Arctic extraction

Planes, claims and Arctic extraction

In April the Canadian House of Commons passed an 'austerity' budget that included the loss of 19,200 public sector jobs, cutting federal programs by $5.2 billion per year and raising the retirement age from 65 to 67. Yet Canada is significantly less austere when it comes to their military spending. This week it was announced...

Hay Festival – Should we leave the oil in the ground? – 2 June 2012

nef series 1: Should we leave the oil in the ground? Event 54 • Saturday 2 June 2012, 2.30pm • Venue: Hay on Earth Stage James Marriott, Rob Hopkins, Juliet Davenport, Andrew Simms Fossil fuel companies ride high in the stock markets, but is oil more of a liability than an asset? The latest science...

Out in the Cold – new report on Shell’s plans in the Arctic

Shell’s Annual General Meeting tomorrow is unlikely to go calmly. The company’s problems range from anger over excessive executive pay to spills in the Niger delta. At this time, Platform, Greenpeace and FairPensions are putting to scrutiny offshore Arctic exploration as a key direction in the company’s strategy. The new report ‘Out in the Cold...
Out in the Cold: Investor Risk in Shell's Arctic Exploration

Out in the Cold: Investor Risk in Shell’s Arctic Exploration

Royal Dutch Shell’s plans for Arctic exploration are exposing investors to a ‘spectrum of risks’, this new report by Platform, Fairpensions, and Greenpeace warns. Download the report (pdf) and investor briefing or read online below. The report highlights Shell’s failure to address key concerns for investors and environmentalists: • Spill response plans are inadequate –...

Risking ruin: Shell’s investments in Tar Sands, the Arctic and Nigeria

This article first appeared as an introduction to a report, Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria, published on 18 May 2012 by Indigenous Environmental Network and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. As economic austerity bites, major oil companies are making staggering profits. A high oil price in 2011 made Shell $30.92 billion in annual...
Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria

Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria

Shell’s plant is located directly on my father’s hunting grounds and today, instead of feeding my family, these lands kill my community. Shell’s plans to expand bitumen refining in an area already devastated by pollution is effectively a death sentence for our culture, lands and people. Ron Plain This report profiles the global Indigenous communities impacted by Shell’s operations in Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands,...