Tag Archives | Oil

Niger Delta Villagers Vs. Oil Giant Shell’s Destruction of Their Land

OginisOnce again, unregulated Big Business makes everything better. John Vidal writes in the Guardian:

Goi is now a dead village. The two fish ponds, bakery and chicken farm that used to be the pride and joy of its chief deacon, Barrisa Tete Dooh, lie abandoned, covered in a thick black layer. The village’s fishing creek is contaminated; the school has been looted; the mangrove forests are coated in bitumen and everyone has left, refugees from a place blighted by the exploitation of the region’s most valuable asset: crude oil.

A long-awaited and comprehensive UN study exposed the full horror of the pollution that the production of oil has brought to Ogoniland over the last 50 years.

The UN report showed that oil companies and the Nigerian government had not just failed to meet their own standards, but that the process of investigation, reporting and clean-up was deeply flawed in favour of the firms and against the victims.

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Leaked Documents Reveal BP’s Control Over Iraq’s Oil

oilThe Iraq War probably didn’t start out being about oil — it just seems to be ending that way. Oil industry watchdog PLATFORM London gained access to a leaked copy of a contract between BP and the Iraqi government which reveals the extent to which the company has gained control over Iraq’s resources. New Left Project writes:

BP was awarded the 20-year deal at an auction in June 2009, but suspicions were raised when the company did not sign the contract until four months later. The Iraqi government said nothing had changed in the interim, only “clarifications” – claims that the leaked contract show not to be true.

PLATFORM obtained from a reliable source a version of the Rumaila contract with BP/CNPC dated 8 October 2009. This leaked version was compared with the official model contract, dated 23 April 2009, which formed the basis of the first bid round.Several key changes were made, including:

> BP could opt to be paid for oil not produced as a result of OPEC quotas or Iraqi infrastructure bottlenecks.

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U.S. Govt. May Be Squelching Scientist Over Arctic Oil

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Why is this all too believable? Bob Berwyn reports on the latest skirmish in the battle over Alaska offshore oil drilling for Summit County Citizens Voice:

Last summer’s Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico clearly showed the conflict between science, energy policy and politics, and the looming battle over drilling in Arctic waters will be no different, as a watchdog group claims that federal scientists are being muzzled and harassed over their efforts to disclose potential impacts of energy development in the fragile Arctic marine environment.

Dr. Charles Monnet, a senior federal scientist working the Arctic has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated by the Interior Department’s Inspector General. Such inspections are not uncommon, but what’s unusual in this case is that the researcher says he has no idea what the investigators are looking for.

But a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog and whistle-blower protection group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, says the investigation is designed to interfere with scientific research that points out the dangers of Arctic drilling.

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A Gallon Of Gas Should Cost $15

We know the approximate price of gas for consumers, but what is the price for society? The external costs borne may be as high as $1.7 trillion per year for the United States alone — that’s from health problems caused by pollution and toxic fumes, damage to crops and plant life, et cetera. The Center for Investigative Reporting calculates $15 per gallon as a reasonable pump price reflecting the true cost of gasoline.

My only complaint: it should be significantly higher still, as they forgot to factor in the huge sums of tax dollars spent on foreign aid and military operations for the benefit of the oil industry:

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KLM To Use Recycled Frying Oil To Fuel Flights

800px-Klm.fokker.f100.ph-ofg.arpKLM airlines are going green, well, at least for some flights. BBC reports:

The Dutch airline KLM says it plans to use recycled cooking oil on 200 flights between Paris and Amsterdam.

The fuel, biokerosene, is derived from used frying oil, which has to be tested to meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene.

Airlines are under EU pressure to cut their carbon emissions by 3% by 2012.

KLM’s interest in biofuels dates back to 2009, when it ran a test flight carrying 40 people, including the then Dutch economics affairs minister.

The 90-minute flight was majority powered by traditional aviation fuel, with just one of the its four engines powered 50% by biofuel.

Future flights will use half traditional kerosene and half biofuel.

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Tell Secretary Clinton To Say No To The Kochs

The Koch brothers stand to make millions from a pipeline that would carry the dirtiest oil on Earth through six states, one of America’s most important aquifers and almost 2,000 miles of American homes and farmland.

Congressional Republicans are trying to force the Obama administration to approve the pipeline with grandstanding hearings starting Monday, but gas prices would actually increase and construction would put American communities in danger. Another video from the Koch Brothers Exposed campaign:

Because the oil pipeline crosses an international border, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can intervene and stop this now. Share our petition and help reach the goal of 50,000 individuals telling Secretary Clinton to say No to the Kochs and Yes to protecting Americans at http://kochbrothersexposed.com/tellclintonno

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Less than 50 Years of Oil Left, HSBC Warns

Mad MaxRecently John Collins Rudolf reported in the New York Times:

The world may have no more than half a century of oil left at current rates of consumption, while surging demand from the developing world threatens to create “very significant price rises” before substitutes like biofuels can serve as viable alternatives, the British bank HSBC warns in a new report.

“We’re confident that there are around 50 years of oil left,” Karen Ward, the bank’s senior global economist, said in an interview on CNBC.

The bank, the world’s second largest in assets, further cautioned that growth trends in developing countries like China could put as many as one billion more cars on the road by midcentury. “That’s tremendous pressure on oil to power all those resources,” Ms. Ward said.

Substitutes, such as biofuels and synthetic oil from coal, could fill the gap if conventional supplies fall short, but only if average oil prices exceed $150 per barrel, the report notes.

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Wikileaks Cables Show Race To Carve Up Arctic

ArcticBBC News reports:

Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to “carve up” Arctic resources — oil, gas and even rubies — as the ice retreats.

They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim.

The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic.

The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.

The cables were released by the Wikileaks whistleblower website as foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council member states – Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland – met in Nuuk, Greenland on Thursday to sign a treaty on international search-and-rescue in the Arctic and discuss the region’s future challenges.

The cables claim the Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller joked with the Americans saying “if you stay out, then the rest of us will have more to carve up in the Arctic”.

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ExxonMobil Makes $11B Quarterly Profit

Exxon apologizes for sticking it to us at the gas pumps last quarter.  The disgusting part?  Exxon feels that their company “doesn’t even make that much money selling gasoline.”  AP reports:
ExxonMobil

Exxon made almost $11 billion and practically apologized for it.Sensing public outrage over gasoline prices that have topped $4 in some states, the company struck a defensive posture Thursday after posting some of its best quarterly financial results ever.

Exxon said it had no control over high oil prices. It said it’s one of the biggest taxpayers in the United States. It cast federal subsidies as “legitimate tax provisions” that keep jobs at home, and cast itself as a victim of Washington scapegoating.

“They feel they have to demonize our industry,” said Ken Cohen, Exxon’s vice president for public affairs.

What’s more, the company argued, it doesn’t even make that much money selling gasoline.

Exxon’s profit of $10.65 billion for the first quarter was its highest since it made $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008, a record for a publicly traded company.

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