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BP's pipes in Alaska might be leaking like a sieve, but its coffers are nice and healthy. North Slope crude oil closed above $70 a barrel for the first time on Wednesday – on the back of concerns about Iran and tensions in Nigeria. It was only in May 2004 that the price hit $40 a barrel for the first time. Five months later it topped $50. In August 2005 it broke $60. Now it's beyond $70. Any bets where it will stop?


More bad new for BP: It has admitted the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline will cost 30 per cent more than first expected. David Woodward, head of BP Azerbaijan, said yesterday the 1,768 km (1,099 mile) pipeline would cost $3.9bn (£2.18bn) rather than $2.95bn.

Although that is bad news - you just wait until the company starts experiencing corrosion problems on this pipeline. It will make its Alaska problems seem insignificant. Or so the rumour goes...

There is a saying that the best way to release bad news is to bury it. So what did the US do on Easter Monday – it released figures that showed that it emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Good on you George - glad you are really taking climate change seriously.

For want of getting repetitious, it seems that BP has yet another corrosion problem in Alaska – this is its third. Chuck Hamel, BP’s bette noir, wrote to Stephen Johnson, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to report that BP had suffered additional corrosion leaks, which it had not yet reported. One we reported yesterday in a gas pipe.

Earlier today I said we haven't got it in for BP. So, in the interests of impartiality, I am just passing this message on and not commenting on yet another organisation or person having a go at this Great British institution.
It concerns Art Not Oil which is “a rolling exhibition aimed at encouraging artists to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage”. See for yourself at http://www.artnotoil.org.uk/

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