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
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
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
A 30-year old well abandoned by Shell in Ogoniland, turns into a raging inferno after leaking for weeks. Photo: Ed Kashi
Shell spills oil all over Nigeria, fails to clean it up, and tries to hide the damage… Continue reading
Oil companies' lobbying is having devastating consequences: houses destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Photo: Asian Development Bank
Like everyone else, big oil companies get by with a little help from their friends.
In 2014, oil companies joined forces to successfully lobby the EU to drop policies which favoured renewable energy. Continue reading
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
A girl in the Pacific Island of Tuvalu asks the world for a new place to live, as the sea-levels rise on her home.
Oil companies have a long history of uniting with other organisations to spread doubt about the seriousness of climate change and fuel climate science denial. Continue reading
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.
Just don't mention the oil.
What’s in a name?
Norwegian energy giant Statoil has become ‘Equinor’ — inspired by ‘words like equal, equality and equilibrium’, as well as ‘Nor’ for Norway, the company said.
Shell has been aware of climate change for over 30 years, but the company’s been telling the public a very different story.
Confidential documents dating back to the 1980s have recently been revealed showing Shell clearly knew about the dangers posed by climate change. Continue reading