Profiting from the Iraq war

Source: Wikimedia commons

‘Iraq is the big oil prospect,’ began the minutes of a meeting at the Foreign Office on 6 November 2002. ‘BP are desperate to get in there.’ The tone was unusually expressive for the notes of a govern­ment meeting: civil servant minute-takers normally manage to find blandness in even the most far-reaching discussions.

Four months later, a war would begin that would cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and destroy a country. But with about ten percent of the world’s oil beneath its soil, for BP Iraq meant business. Continue reading

How Shell stands in the way of renewable energy

Subvertised Shell posters appeared in London, Leeds, Bristol and Oxford in June 2018 ahead of Shell's #MakeTheFuture spin festival, which has co-opted pop stars in a bid to appeal to millennials. Image: Brandalism UK

Shell pours millions into lobbying policymakers to act in its corporate interest. Given the company’s dependence on fossil fuels for profit, this often means splashing the cash to try and stymie the progress of renewable energy. Continue reading

Dodging responsibility for Deepwater Horizon

94-year-old Cajun fisherman Eugene Barthelemy with crude oil that leaked from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Photo: James Balog/Aurora photos

Eight years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, causing the largest marine oil spill in history. BP was ultimately deemed to be responsible for the disaster — but at the time, you wouldn’t have known it. Continue reading

Statoil/Equinor spends millions on lobbying

A decorated oil rig behind a basketball court, next to Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles. Statoil/Equinor is a member of a lobby group that pushes more oil extraction across the US. Photo by Sarah Craig/Faces of Fracking (Creative Commons)

Statoil’s rebranding as Equinor is part of its wider efforts to present itself as a ”clean” oil company. But like BP and Shell, it is part of industry lobbying groups that are pushing for access to ever riskier and dirtier fuels and blocking cleaner alternatives. Continue reading

Statoil’s ties to corruption

A worker rebrands a Statoil hat with the new Equinor logo, May 2018. Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

Unlike its competitors, Statoil/Equinor has managed to sustain a cleaner, more responsible image. While Shell, Exxon and BP are renowned for their major environmental impacts, Statoil has, to some extent, avoided being tarred with the same brush.

However, Statoil has often found itself in the spotlight over its business dealings.

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