Egyptian communities protest BP expansion plans

Egyptian communities concerned about a proposed BP gas plant on the Mediterranean coast have organised protests, including a sit-in on the site, road blockades and a raid on BP’s local office, as reported by Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm. The residents of Idku, east of Alexandria, are opposing plans to pump gas ashore from BP’s offshore...

Gulfsands ends payments to Assad’s cousin – but continues supporting Syrian regime with $8 million every week

Documents revealed by the FT amid concerns raised by Avaaz show that Gulfsands Petroleum, the London-listed oil and gas company, agreed to give a share of profits from its production activities in Syria to a company controlled by Rami Makhlouf, the first cousin of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The company has also paid more than...

Is Syrian propaganda tool and oil company Gulfsands dodging EU sanctions?

Propaganda tool? London-based Gulfsands Petroleum is operating as a propaganda tool for the Assad regime. In an interview from last Wednesday, the company’s communications director Ken Judge made statements that claimed Islamic extremists had infiltrated protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-year rule. Yet the Syrian uprising is evidently supported by a broad swathe of the...

Shell supports Syrian regime with $55 million during crackdown; one out of six Syrian tanks runs on Shell oil

Today, a Shell-chartered tanker is scheduled to dock in the Syrian port of Tartous. The Heidmar TBN will collect almost 600,000 barrels of crude oil purchased by Shell. The shipment, worth over $55 million, has been marketed to Shell by state company Sytrol, an integral part of Assad’s regime of power. Repression of the democratic uprising in Syria...

Royal Dutch Shell profiting from Sultan’s absolute rule in Oman

Unrest has reached Oman, the usually “sedate” and “tranquil” Sultanate on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Inspired by uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, Omani youth took to the streets to challenge government corruption, cronyism, unemployment and a lack of democracy. Protests spread across the desert country, with police firing bullets and teargas from...

BP support for Mubarak dictatorship revealed

The millions on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez are furious at Mubarak for upholding his own interests and those of Western powers and foreign companies at the expense of the Egyptian people. For decades, British and American oil companies worked hand in glove with the Egyptian dictatorship, enjoying its “stability” (lack of democratic...

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...

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...

Oil companies & RBS profited off state terror in Sudan

A Chatham House event last Thursday launched the new report “Unpaid Debt: The Legacy of Lundin, Petronas and OMV in Sudan, 1997-2003,” on the role of oil companies in fuelling war and atrocities in Sudan. A group of aid agencies that worked in Sudan during the civil war, the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS), have called for an...

Colombian army attacks striking BP workers

Claire Hall from Espacio Bristol-Colombia describes how the Colombian army has joined in the repression of striking BP workers in Casanare. from Upside Down World: “A five month long mobilisation against BP in the Casanare region of Colombia has escalated after the Colombian army entered the BP installations with force this week and confronted workers who have been peacefully...