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Posts Tagged ‘oil’

The consequences of cheap oil

In Americas, Europe News, World News on February 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

By Tom Harford

After years in which $100 oil was the norm, the price of Brent crude is now around a third of that. Assume for a moment that Russia and Saudi Arabia fail in their efforts to get the price back up. Will $30 oil change the world? The answer is yes, of course. Everything is connected to everything else in economics, and that is particularly true when it comes to oil. For all the talk of the weightless economy, we’re not quite so post-industrial as to be able to ignore the cost of energy. Because oil is versatile and easy to transport, it remains the lubricant for the world’s energy system.

The rule of thumb has always been that while low oil prices are bad for the planet, they’re good for the economy. Last year a report from PwC estimated that…

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Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests

In World News on October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm

By John Vidal

Secret papers reveal that in the 1990s the oil giant routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its activities.

Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta – land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses.

Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria‘s military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region.

Confidential memos, faxes, witness statements and other documents, released in 2009, show the company regularly paid the military to stop the peaceful protest movement against the pollution, even helping to plan raids on villages suspected of opposing the company.

According to Ogoni activists, several thousand people were killed in the 1990s and many more fled that wave of terror that took place in the 1990s.

In 2009, in a New York federal court, that evidence never saw light during the trial. Shell had been accused of collaborating with the state in the execution in 1995 of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and other leaders of the Ogoni tribe. Instead, Shell paid $15.5m (£9.6m) to the eight families in settlement.

Among the documents was a 1994 letter from Shell agreeing to pay a unit of the Nigerian army to retrieve a truck, an action that left one Ogoni man dead and two wounded. Shell said it was making the payment “as a show of gratitude and motivation for a sustained favourable disposition in future assignments”.

Brian Anderson, the director of Shell Nigeria during those years, said in 2009, after the New York settlement, the company had…

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Chinese oil giant ends ops in Libya, Syria: Report

In World News on August 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

By AFP

China’s largest oil and gas producer has shut down six major projects in war-torn Libya, Syria and other restive nations because of political instability, state media said Tuesday.

The decision came as Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s regime appeared close to collapse after rebels took over the capital Tripoli, and as other countries in the Middle East and Africa experienced bouts of unrest.

The projects in Libya, Niger, Syria and Algeria were run by Great Wall Drilling Co (GWDC), a subsidiary of the state-owned giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the Beijing Times newspaper reported.

Quoting company insiders, it said the exploration projects had been terminated due to “political instability” and to “protect the staff’s safety.”

The report did not detail what these projects were, but said the termination would cause 1.2 billion yuan ($188 million) in lost revenue for GWDC.

A CNPC spokesman told AFP he had no knowledge of the project terminations.

China is always on the look-out for natural resources around the world to…

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EU oil companies get set to return to Libya

In World News on August 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

By Andrew Rettman

EU oil firms are preparing to return to Libya amid good will generated by Nato support. The military alliance has also carried out “prudent planning” for a potential peacekeeping mission.

Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini on Monday (22 August) said energy company Eni has sent a delegation to meet rebel leaders in Benghazi after opposition forces entered Tripoli at the weekend, signalling the end of the Gaddafi regime.

“I won’t be revealing any secrets if I say that Eni technicians have already been called to Benghazi to reactivate plants … The facilities were made by Italians and therefore it is clear that Eni will play a No. 1 role in the future,” he told Rai TV.

Eni spokesman Cesaro Fabio declined to comment on the Benghazi trip. He told EUobserver that Eni’s oil and gas licences in the country are valid until between 2042 and 2047, however. The firm’s pre-war oil output in Libya was 270,000 barrels a day. It also operated the 10-billion-cubic-metre-a-year Greenstream gas pipeline.

Stefan Leunig, a spokesman for Germany’s Wintershall, previously on 100,000 barrels a day, said: “Starting up production could be done within several weeks under standard technical conditions. This of course depends on the state of the export infrastructure as well as a stable security situation.”

A spokeswoman for French firm Total said: “We are monitoring the situation closely to see when we can restart operations.” A spokesman for Austria’s OMV said it last had contact with rebel leaders in…

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