The Biggest Oil Spill in the World

PLATFORM featured on Channel 4 News this evening, providing analysis on two current news stories – the revelations of the full extent of environmental devastation in Ogoni land contained in the UN’s new report, and Shell’s admission of liability for two recent oil spills in Bodo, Ogoniland. Campaigner Ben Amunwa helped provide background research as the story...

RBS financed Canadian Tar Sands company goes under

Big Canadian tar sands company’s downfall shows that RBS’ tar sands finance is risky and reckless. OPTI Canada Inc. is in the process of being acquired by Chinese oil and gas exploration and production company CNOOC Ltd. CNOOC will pay US$2.1m for the Alberta-based company focused on developing major oil sands projects in Canada. OPTI Canada has...

The secret renegotiation of BP’s Iraqi oil contracts

During the second half of 2009, Iraq held two auctions of its largest oilfields, awarding them to multinational companies such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil to operate under 20-year contracts. Between them the oilfields account for over 60% of Iraq’s reserves. The contracts were service contracts rather than the companies’ preferred production sharing agreements, which...

Coming soon – the ‘Tate a Tate’ audio tour

Earlier this year, working alongside Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil, we made a call out to commission a sound artist to create an ‘alternate Tate audio tour’ – a work of site-specific sound art that would be themed around the issue of BP sponsorship of Tate. We were overwhelmed with almost 40 responses, and in the final shortlist, the...

Donors warn US university over artist’s climate change work

It’s 22nd July 2011, and another arts, fossil fuel sponsorship, censorship story breaks. There’s a furore over a newly commissioned public sculpture at the University of Wyoming. Wyoming is a US state which mines more coal than any other in the union. The piece, called Carbon Sink, What Goes Around Comes Around by British artist...

Shell sponsorship and censorship at Southbank Centre?

On 29th June, the Arts Council England finally announced its new “Catalyst Arts” philanthropy programme, aimed at pushing arts organisations towards a US-style corporate and private philanthropy culture. It’s ironic that 3 days later, PLATFORM had a close encounter with censorship from a major arts venue, the Shell-sponsored Southbank Centre, London. As part of the...

Geoengineering and synthetic life – BP’s “solutions” to climate change and the energy crisis

While drilling holes in the Atlantic seafloor and mining tar sands, BP has also been working with Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics to geoengineer microbes that could be injected into tar sands to release methane and create algae-based biofuels, according to Jim Thomas of etc group writing for The Ecologist yesterday. He also investigates BP’s role in driving science-fiction schemes to re-engineer atmospheric...

Death knell or crying wolf?

In April the Chancellor, George Osborne, launched his ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’. This linked the rate of tax paid by oil companies to global oil prices. When the price of oil was above $75 a barrel, the rate of tax on North Sea oil profits would rise, with the additional revenue used to lower the price...

RBS, what are you waiting for?

Yesterday the Royal Bank of Scotland held their 2011 Annual General Meeting at their Gogarburn headquarters on the industrial edge of Edinburgh (see Press Association video with Clayton Thomas-Muller from Indigenous Environmental Network and myself). The conference centre was flanked by press jesting with shareholders about diminishing returns. Much of the press group made a dash for...

The other offshore tax regime

The lobby machine kicked into action following the announcement by George Osbourne of plans to raise £10 billion over the next 5 years from the oil industry. Ex-PLATFORMer Greg Muttitt, author of the forthcoming book Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq explains in this guest blog why the outraged claims of the oil...

BP’s botched Arctic deal and the extent of the Foreign Office’s support

An article on the front page of the Business Section of the Telegraph today has used Freedom of Information requests obtained by PLATFORM to show how BP has used the Foreign Office to cement a controversial deal in Russia, even when the legality of the deal was in doubt. A Channel 4 Dispatches episode this evening by investigative journalist...

Arctic Anxiety – new report on BP’s attempts to drill in the arctic

‘Arctic Anxiety – BP, British foreign policy and the rush for polar oil’ can be downloaded fromhttps://platformlondon.org/aa.pdf In the wake of Thursday´s arbitration ruling that has delayed BP´s Arctic alliance with Rosneft, Foreign Office minutes sourced through FoIA and a new report published by PLATFORM and Greenpeace UK reveal ongoing high-level support for BP without...