BP: Fear and Speculators Driving Up Oil Price

BP’s CEO, John Browne, has warned that fear was driving the price of crude to artificially high levels, with “untold consequences” for the global economy. He argued that turbulence in Iran, Iraq and Nigeria was leading to continual speculation about oil shortages and there were “all sorts of things that suggest it is getting worse”.

North Slope Crude Breaks $70 a Barrel for First Time

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 … Read More

The Oil Bank Fuelling Conflict and Climate Change

One of Britain’s biggest private banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has been criticised by UK research group, Platform for positioning itself as ‘the oil and gas bank’ and for providing the finance that is driving worldwide oil and gas projects. These projects will be at the expense of the communities and climate change.

Imperial Oil in Africa

A typically insightful piece from Anna Zalik and Michael Watts from the University of California on the deteriorating situation in the Niger Delta. Called “Imperial Oil: Petroleum Politics in the Nigerian Delta and the New Scramble for Africa”, it is worthwhile reading if you are interested in the effect of US geo-politics on Africa. Read … Read More

One Metre Sea-Level Rise This Century

We are facing at least a metre rise in sea-level by the end of this century, scientists have warned. Half of the Greenland ice cap and vast areas of Antarctica are destined to melt if climate change continues unabated.

Two Contrasting Views on Africa

Two contrasting views of Africa this week in the British press. On Wednesday The Financial Times published a “Special Report” on Africa’s oil and gas, giving it an upbeat assessment. Under the headline: “Continent all set to balance power” the paper reported how: “West Africa, with its copious reserves of natural gas, its sweet light … Read More

Another Landmark Judgement Against Shell – Will it Ever Learn?

Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta have suffered yet another significant legal setback. The oil company has been ordered by a Nigerian Court to pay $1.5 billion in damages to communities in Ijaw in Baylesa State for polluting their creeks and despoiling their crops. The court decision is seen as a significant setback for Shell, … Read More

Tell Shell to Stop Gas Flaring

For nearly fifty years Shell has been flaring gas in the Niger Delta in vast quantities. The practice is a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and a major source of air, noise and light pollution for the people of the Niger Delta. It causes huge resentment amongst the communities who bear the brunt of … Read More

From Russia With Love

Chris Finlayson obviously likes a big challenge. Having been running Shell’s highly controversial operations in Nigeria, where the company has repeatedly been cited for environmental pollution and for being complicit in human rights abuses, he has moved to head up Shell’s operations in Russia.