Newsletter Signup

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...

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...

BP violated human rights rules, says UK government

Company failed to respond to alleged intimidation by Turkish security forces along its UK-backed Caspian oil pipeline Ruling places BP in breach of loan agreements, say campaigners A BP-led consortium is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the UK Government ruled...

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...

Wikileaks cables reveal BP cover-up in Azerbaijan

New Wikileaks cables about another major offshore gas leak in the Caspian give a rare insight into how BP attempts to control the public narratives when it hits crisis and failure. Writing a book about the company’s Caucasus pipelines, we’ve been all over the region, digging for the truth behind these events. Now the sudden...