Oil, British foreign energy policy and Middle East repression

British oil interests are tightly interlinked with our governments’ recent political and military support for Gaddafi’s regime. Libya’s oil reserves – the largest in Africa – long had Western companies drooling. Shell beat its competitors to the chase, signing a $1 billion gas contract in 2004 during Tony Blair’s first visit to Libya. After three...

How BP made friends with Mu’ammar Gaddafi

On Monday, BP CEO Bob Dudley declared that “we remain committed to doing business” in Libya and stressed that offshore operations in the region were still open and continuing. That morning, stories of tanks crushing unarmed protestors in Benghazi and massacres by (British-built) sniper rifles had been front page news. As Dudley spoke, reports emerged of airstrikes targeting demonstrations...

Terrible timing: BP announce drilling plans during Libyan “Day of Rage”

In the morning of Thursday 17 February, Libyan protestors responding to a callout for a Day of Rage began to fill the streets in Benghazi and other major cities. Over a hundred demonstrators had already been shot and wounded in previous days, but now the people broke through the barrier of fear. A crackdown ensued, with police...

Wikileaks cables reveal BP cover-up in Azerbaijan

New Wikileaks cables about another major offshore gas leak in the Caspian give a rare insight into how BP attempts to control the public narratives when it hits crisis and failure. Writing a book about the company’s Caucasus pipelines, we’ve been all over the region, digging for the truth behind these events. Now the sudden...

Oil activist in DRC slams repression & Perenco secrecy during interview

Pastor Jacques Bakulu has been campaigning against oil companies operating in western Congo for over 20 years. The secretive Anglo-French company Perenco took over Chevron’s concession in 2004 and claims to be producing 25,000 barrels a day. None of its four contracts are publicly available. In February this year Perenco were once again accused of pouring...

Wikileaks cable shines light on ENI corruption in Uganda; Heritage offered to pay bribes in Congo

• SECRET US CABLE SHINES LIGHT ON ENI CORRUPTION IN UGANDA • HERITAGE OFFERED TO PAY BRIBES IN CONGO ‘’If Tullow’s allegations are true – and we believe they are …” US Embassy, Kampala, 17 December 2009 A secret United States diplomatic cable (below and here) published by Wikileaks last week has exposed the real politics...

Upstream fossil fuel tax “politically feasible” in England

A new report produced by conservative thinktank Policy Exchange – described as David Cameron’s “favourite”, promotesupstream carbon taxes as more effective than market-based cap & trade in reducing emissions. The report “Greener, Cheaper”, by Oxford based academic Dieter Helm, proposes an upstream fuel tax “levied on coal, gas and oil weighted according to their carbon content. Such a tax has...

Ugandan government shifts position on deal with Heritage Oil to force company to pay up its Capital Gains Tax

From the Daily Monitor: “The insistence on tax has put the entire deal on ice. The President’s feelings on the matter were put forcefully and emotively by Energy Minister Hilary Onek in a phone interview on Friday. ‘Arbitration only arises in the case of other disputes – not tax,’ Eng. Onek said, warning that the...

Ballad of the Black Gold

From the RSW blog: “New from Talib Kweli, this hard-hitting music video unpacks the story of of Nigeria’s oil curse, the Ogoni struggle and the complicit role of Western governments and companies. Warning: this video contains strong political lyrics.”  

Oil spills & military collusion continue in Niger Delta as Exxon’s offshore fields go down

With the media searching for new angles on BP’s Gulf disaster, stories on the devastation in Nigeria and the “normality” of spills in the Delta are now finally making it back into the papers – see Benoit Faucon’s piece in the Wall Street Journal and Adam Nossiter’s NYT article. It’s about time, as several Exxon spills in quick...

فيديو تثبت تسرب النفط في البحر الأحمر

تثبت تسرب النفط في البحر الأحمر حبكا فيديو من بريتيش بتروليوم أكبر شركة نفط تعمل في البحر الأحمر

“خليج المكسيك الجديد في مصر؟ – زيت تلوث شواطئ الغردقة وتحذيرات من “كارثة بيئية

من المسري اليوم تعرضت شواطئ القرى السياحية والشواطئ العامة بالغردقة للتلوث، إثر ظهور بقع زيت كبيرة امتدت إلى جميع شواطئ المدينة، من الجونة شمالاً، حتى منطقة سهل حشيش جنوباً، لمسافة تزيد على نحو 20 كيلومتراً، فيما لم تحدد الجهات المعنية مصدر التلوث حتى الآن. وقرر عدد من أصحاب الفنادق والقرى السياحية، تقديم بلاغ ضد وزارتي...