tagged w/ shell oil
About that Shell Oil rig aground in Alaska? Turns out they were moving it to avoid state taxes on equipment"Shell’s ill-fated attempt to tow an offshore oil rig from Alaska to Seattle in the final days of December was motivated by a desire to avoid $7m (£4.3m) of Alaskan state taxes, it emerged today.
But the oil giant will instead suffer a multi-million dollar loss on the exercise after the rig ran aground off the Alaskan coast on Monday night.
The rig was beached during a violent storm on its way to a Seattle shipyard for routine maintenance, in a round-trip timed so that, thanks to an accounting loophole, Shell could avoid an Alaskan state tax.
However, because the rig ran aground late on New Year’s Eve and began 2013 within three miles of the Alaskan coast, Shell remains liable for a unique state property tax on equipment dedicated to oil and gas development and exploration.
.." (more at link)
Extract, exploit, evade taxes rides again, but this time engine trouble on a tug and a storm all met to bite Shell on the assets.
Company officials said the rig was moving to a different state for maintenance. Other folks say the maintenance could have been done in Alaska. Company had the rig beyond the territorial waters, and tax jurisdiction, but then the fates threw a monkey wrench into the game of hide the taxable assets. Shell Oil managed to get the taxable equipment outta reach but it all blew back into Alaskan waters, just before close of the year.
Is it just me or is Karma kicking some ass lately?
On top of still owing the $6-$7 million in state taxes on the equipment, Shell also has some bills coming in related to the federal response, and evacuation of their crew. And the rig is still grounded, so the costs seem likely to be mounting.
edited to fix formatting typo"Shell’s ill-fated attempt to tow an offshore oil rig from Alaska to... more
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 "played no part in any military operations against the Ogoni people, or any other communities in the Niger Delta, and we have never been approached for financial or logistical support for any action".
But he conceded that Shell had paid the military on two occasions.
The company has been sued many times over its conduct in Nigeria. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) say oil companies working in the delta, of which Shell is the largest, have overseen a "human rights tragedy". Most of the alleged human rights abuses, they say, follow the companies' refusal to abide by acceptable environmental standards.
Despite the flood of lawsuits, cases can be delayed for years. Very few people are able to take on the oil giant, which has 90 oil fields in the delta where it has operated since the 1950s.
Increasingly, though, international groups are using courts in Europe and the US against big oil companies. Shell's Nigerian subsidiary SPDC admitted liability last month in a British court for two oil spills in 2008 around Bodo, which has severely affected the lives of 69,000 people. The company is negotiating a settlement. A similar case is being heard in a Netherlands court for three other spills.
In 2009, Amnesty international said oil companies in Nigeria had fostered a "human rights tragedy" with continual oil spills, gas flaring and waste dumping. "The people of the Niger Delta have seen their human rights constantly abused by oil companies that their government cannot or will not hold to account," said Audrey Gaughran, the group's global issues director.
HRW investigators visited the Niger Delta in 1997. Their report, in 1999, said: "People are brutalised for attempting to raise grievances with the companies; in some cases security forces threatened, beat, and jailed members of community delegations even before they presented their cases."
In a related article it has also been found that Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/03/shell-accused-of-fuelling-nigeria-conflictShell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger... more
In 2008 an oil pipeline owned by Shell, failed and began spilling oil in Bodo Creek. Oil kept pouring out for more than two months before it was repaired. By then, many of the 70.000 people living in Bodo village had lost an important means of livelihood.
The pollution killed much of the marine life in the river.
Without the ability to fish the community of Bodo has become impoverished.Loading... In 2008 an oil pipeline owned by Shell, failed and began spilling oil in... more
Analysts predict gas will go higher then $5 per gallon by summer.
One of the quickest ways to bring down the U.S. economy would be to dramatically increase the price of oil. Oil is the lifeblood of our economic system. Without it, our entire economy would come to a grinding halt. Almost every type of economic activity in this country depends on oil, and even a small rise in the price of oil can have a dramatic impact on economic growth. That is why so many economists are incredibly alarmed about what is happening in the Middle East right now. The revolution in Libya caused the price of WTI crude to soar more than 7 dollars on Tuesday alone. It closed at $93.57 on Tuesday and Brent crude actually hit $108.57 a barrel before settling back to $105.78 at the end of the day. Some analysts are warning that we could even see 5 dollar gas in the United States by the end of the year if rioting spreads to other oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia. With the Middle East in such a state of chaos right now it is hard to know exactly what is going to happen, but almost everyone agrees that if oil prices continue to rise at a rapid pace over the next several months it is going to have a devastating impact on economic growth all over the globe.
Right now the eyes of the world are on Libya. Libya is the 17th largest oil producer on the globe and it has the biggest proven oil reserves on the continent of Africa.
Libya only produces 2 percent of the oil in the world, but with global supplies so tight at the moment even a minor production disruption can have a dramatic impact on the price of oil.
Before this crisis, Libya was producing approximately 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. Now the rest of the world is wondering what may happen if revolution spreads to other major oil producing nations such as Kuwait (2.5 million barrels of oil per day) or Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia produces 8.4 million barrels of oil a day. It produces more oil than anyone else in OPEC.
If revolution strikes in Saudi Arabia and a major production disruption happens it could be catastrophic for the global economy.
David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, is warning that if there is major civil unrest in Saudi Arabia we could end up seeing oil go up to $200 a barrel….
“If Libya can spark a $10-a-barrel response, imagine what a similar uprising in Saudi Arabia could unleash. Do the math: we’d be talking about $200 oil.”
200 dollar oil?
Don’t laugh – it could happen.
In fact, if it does happen the global economy would probably go into cardiac arrest.
The truth is that if the flow of oil from Saudi Arabia gets disrupted there is not enough spare capacity from the rest of the globe to make up for it.
Paul Horsnell, the head of oil research at Barclays Capital, recently said that the world does not currently have enough spare capacity to be able to guarantee that an oil “price shock” will not happen….
“The world has only 4.5m barrels-per-day (bpd) of spare capacity, which is not comfortable.”
Horsnell also said that even in the midst of potential supply problems, the global demand for oil continues to grow at a very robust pace….
“In just two years, the world has grown so fast as to consume additional volume equal to the output of Iraq and Kuwait combined.”
For now, Saudi officials are saying all the right things. They say that there will be no revolution in Saudi Arabia and that there are not going to be any supply problems.
For example, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi recently announcedthat the rest of the world should not worry because his country is definitely going to be able to make up for any shortage in the global supply of oil….
“What I would like you to convey to the market: right now there is absolutely no shortage of supply.”
But what happens if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia?
Suddenly the whole game would change.
But even with a peaceful Saudi Arabia the price of gasoline in the United States is already rising to alarming levels.
The average price of gasoline in the United States reached $3.14 a gallonlast week. This closely mirrors what happened back in 2008. Three years ago at this time the average price of gasoline was right around $3.13 a gallon.
Let’s certainly hope that we don’t see a repeat of what happened to oil prices back in mid-2008. The price of oil reached an all-time record of $147 a barrel and gas prices in the United States absolutely skyrocketed.
So how high will the price of gas in the U.S. go in 2011?
We haven’t even come close to 4 dollar gas yet, but a large number of analysts believe that it is coming this summer.
Is there even a possibility that we could see 5 dollar gas in America at some point in the next couple of years?
Well, there are some in the oil industry that are convinced that it could actually happen. Just consider the following quotes….
Darin Newsom, senior analyst at energy tracker DTN….
“If this thing escalates and there’s a good chance that there’d be a shift in supplies, $5 gas isn’t out of the question.”
Peter Beutel, president of energy adviser Cameron Hanover….
“If you are looking at the disruption of movement and production in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, you’re easily talking $5 gas.”
John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, on his belief that we could see 5 dollar gas by 2012….
“I’m predicting actually the worst outcome over the next two years which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices.”
So why is everyone so concerned about gas prices?
Well, because it affects the price of almost everything else in the economy.
David Wyss, the chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, says that every extra dollar that is spent on gasoline is a dollar that will not be spent somewhere else….
“The money that you spend filling up your car is money you don’t have to spend at the shopping mall.”
Not only that, but when gasoline costs more it has a negative effect on economic growth. Almost all economic activities involve the use of oil in one form or another. When the price of oil starts getting really high it motivates people to start cutting back on many of those activities.
The truth is that our whole economic system is based on the ability to use massive amounts of very cheap oil. Now that the price of oil is rapidly rising again, many economists are becoming very alarmed.
FULL STORY HERE:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/5-dollar-gas-get-ready-to-pay-an-arm-and-a-leg-for-gasoline.htmlOne of the quickest ways to bring down the U.S. economy would be to dramatically... more
Fury is building over rolling nationwide blackouts triggered by the Obama administration’s deliberate agenda to block the construction of new coal-fired plants, as local energy companies struggle to meet Americans’ power demands amidst some of the coldest weather seen in decades.
- As we reported yesterday, four hospitals in Texas reacted furiously after they were hit with planned outages despite being promised they would be spared even as power to Super Bowl venues remains uninterrupted.
- Thousands in New Mexico have been left without natural gas as Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday declared a state of emergency. “Due to statewide natural gas shortages, I have ordered all government agencies that do not provide essential services to shut down and all nonessential employees to stay home” on Friday, Martinez said after meeting with public safety personnel in Albuquerque,” reports the Associated Press.
- Borderland residents have been asked to limit their use of natural gas as the Texas Gas Service asks that larger commercial facilities voluntarily close their doors to save supplies.
- People in Tucson have been asked to limit their use of hot water and moderate their thermostat levels to save on energy.
- Shortages of natural gas in San Diego County has forced utility companies to “cut or reduce the gas supplied to some of their largest commercial and industrial customers,” reports North County Times.
- In El Paso, “Hundreds of thousands of electricity customers continue to face periodic blackouts, and nearly 900 gas customers still have no heat,” reports the El Paso Times, with El Paso Electric resorting to using generators in a struggle to meet demand while still having to implement forced outages.
Coal-fired power plants are used to convert coal to synthetic natural gas. The Obama administration’s efforts to block the construction of new clean-burning coal plants has massively exacerbated this week’s outages.
Mexico has now announced that it will suspend supplying power to southern US states, underscoring how America has been left completely dependent and desperate as a result of the Obama administration’s war on the coal industry.
Cold weather is not the primary culprit behind the power outages that have hit many areas of the country this week. The real blame lies with the Obama administration’s deliberate war against the efforts of local power companies to meet America’s energy needs by building new plants, the vast majority of which have been blocked by judges, governors and the EPA over the last four years at the behest of the Obama administration in the name of preventing global warming.
State authorities in Texas have been engaged in a long-running battle with the EPA as the feds attempt to block the construction of new plants by enforcing adherence to new clean air permit regulations that cripple smaller companies’ ability to afford desperately needed new energy centers and plants. Twelve states are mounting a legal challenge against EPA restrictions that threaten to bankrupt the entire industry.
FULL STORY HERE:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/fury-builds-over-blackouts-caused-by-de-industrialization-of-america.htmlFury is building over rolling nationwide blackouts triggered by the Obama... more
Al Jazeera: The petrol giant Shell has thoroughly infiltrated the Nigerian government, newly leaked WikiLeaks documents show.
The petrol giant Shell has thoroughly infiltrated the Nigerian government, newly leaked WikiLeaks documents show. The multinational corporation inserted its employees into every key government ministry to gain unparalleled influence in policy-making in the oil rich Niger Delta. Al Jazeera's Jesse Mesner-Hage reports on how the revelation fits into the decades-long troubled relationship between Royal Dutch Shell and Nigeria.Al Jazeera: The petrol giant Shell has thoroughly infiltrated the Nigerian government,... more
Nigeria's decades of oil spills have caused poverty for the people living there and an ecological catastrophe. Forty percent of all crude oil exported into the United States comes from the Niger Delta, which locals call the world's capital of oil pollution.Nigeria's decades of oil spills have caused poverty for the people living there... more
Oil Flow Estimate Has Been Raised to 35,000-60,000 Barrels a Day, Up to 50% More Than Previous EstimateBy the CNN Wire Staff
June 15, 2010 5:40 p.m. EDT
President Obama addresses the nation live Tuesday night at 8 ET with the latest on the BP oil disaster. Watch it live on CNN, CNN.com/Live and the CNN iPhone app.
(CNN) -- Government officials Tuesday increased the estimate of oil flowing into the Gulf to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels (1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons) per day, up to 50 percent more than previously estimated.
The government's previous estimate, issued last week, was 20,000 to 40,000 barrels per day. The change was "based on updated information and scientific assessments," and was reached by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Chair of the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group Marcia McNutt, the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center said.
"The improved estimate is based on more and better data that is now available and that helps increase the scientific confidence in the accuracy of the estimate," it said.
Lawmakers hammered oil companies Tuesday as President Obama toured the Florida coast to reassure Americans that the government had firm command over the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
At Pensacola Naval Air Station, Obama declared war on the massive slick, as though it were an enemy lurking offshore.
"This is an unprecedented environmental disaster," Obama told a crowd of soldiers, Marines and sailors. "This is an assault in our nation's shore, and we're going to fight back with everything we've got."
The tough talk on soft sand preceded Obama's first-ever national address from the Oval Office, slated for Tuesday night. In the symbolically important speech, Obama will lay out a game plan for dealing with the worst oil spill in U.S. history, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNN.
Gibbs said Obama will outline containment and cleanup plans and address America's need to reduce dependency on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
Americans, frustrated with the incessant undersea gusher and also what some perceive as a lack of White House leadership, are sure to be listening, especially to what the president has to say regarding claims. The process has become a sore subject for those whose livelihoods have been stung by sheets of oil drifting in the Gulf and washing ashore.
Health threats from the Gulf oil disaster could last for years, and officials lack knowledge on how long chemicals in the spilled oil and dispersants will remain toxic, a health expert told a Senate committee Tuesday.
A Food and Drug Administration official told a Senate committee Tuesday that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico available to consumers in stores and restaurants is safe. "We are confident that Gulf of Mexico seafood that is in the market today is safe to eat," said Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner of the FDA.
Also Tuesday, BP said it suspended the operation to siphon oil from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico after a fire aboard a drill ship Tuesday morning.
Siphoning resumed Tuesday afternoon, BP said.
The fire was likely caused by a lightning strike, and siphoning was suspended as a precaution, BP said. There were no reported injuries.
The spill now dwarfs the 11 million gallons that were dumped into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989 when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground, and oil in varying amounts and consistencies has hit the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
BP has been siphoning oil from a containment cap placed on the ruptured well but had to suspend oil collection Tuesday after a fire aboard the drilling ship Discover Enterprise.
A statement from the company attributed the fire to lightning. It said operations would restart Tuesday afternoon.
Obama is scheduled to meet with top BP officials in a highly anticipated meeting Wednesday. Speedy claims processing will be high on the agenda.
David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser, has said a new claims plan would call for an independent third party to handle the process, and a White House spokesman said the administration is confident that it has the legal authority to force BP to set up an escrow account for the purpose of paying damages.
BP announced Tuesday that it accelerated commercial large-loss claims and has approved 337 checks for $16 million to businesses that have filed claims in excess of $5,000. Initial payments began over the weekend and will be completed this week, the British energy giant said.
In Washington, senior Democrats launched a blistering attack on oil companies at a key House subcommittee hearing.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said that four of the five largest oil firms have produced disaster response plans that discuss how to protect walruses, even though there are no walruses in the Gulf.
These are "cookie-cutter plans" that, in reality, are little more than "just paper exercises," he said.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, blasted the heads of ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell Oil for producing disaster response plans that are "virtually identical."
They all tout "ineffective identical equipment" and often use "the exact same words" in their plans, he said. They have spent "zero time and money" in developing adequate response blueprints, he asserted.
Meanwhile Tuesday, federal authorities announced guidelines to speed up maritime waivers that would allow more foreign ships -- in addition to the 15 already in the Gulf of Mexico -- to assist in oil cleanup efforts.
"Should any waivers be needed, we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay," said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's response manager.
The Jones Act, which regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters, requires that goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flagged ships that have been constructed in the United States and are American-owned. The law was intended to support the U.S. merchant marine industry but now limits foreign vessels from participating in the oil response.
Allen also announced Tuesday the establishment of three positions for deputy incident commanders, who will help oversee operations from the coast. The three will join a response team that already involves roughly 27,000 people.
CNN's Dana Bash, Anderson Cooper and Ed Henry contributed to this report.
http://www.evworld.com/press/greenpeace_northerngannet_bp.jpgBy the CNN Wire Staff June 15, 2010 5:40 p.m. EDT President Obama addresses the... more
The tar sands in the province of Alberta cover a wide area centered on the town of Fort McMurray. They lie in the heart of Canada's Boreal forests, and produce close to one-and-a-half million barrels of oil a day.
The area is the epicentre of a struggle between environmentalists and multinational energy companies, with each side painting different pictures of how oil extraction impacts the region.
Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Fort McMurray, Canada.The tar sands in the province of Alberta cover a wide area centered on the town of... more
Shell Oil is ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer and asked a federal appeals court Thursday to rule quickly on a challenge by environmentalists concerned about the risk of a major spill after the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Kathleen Sullivan, an attorney for Shell, said the company has spent at least $3.5 billion on Alaska operations in the past few years as it prepares for exploratory drilling set for July in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
"Shell has waited years to recover its investment," Sullivan told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland. "We're ready to go."
"I'm sure Shell would like to win," replied Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.
But a coalition of environmentalists and Native Alaska groups who are challenging the drilling plans told the court the federal Minerals Management Service failed to consider the potential threat to wildlife and the risk for disaster before it approved the Shell project.
Christopher Winter, an attorney for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, said the Interior Department agency "simply ignored key aspects" about the possible effects of drilling operations on bowhead whales, including interruption of feeding patterns.
David Shilton, a Justice Department lawyer representing the minerals service, responded by saying studies have shown noise from drilling has only a "temporary and minor" effect on the whales, whose population is healthy and has been increasing.
Deirdre McDonnell, the attorney for the Native Village of Point Hope in Alaska, the lead petitioners in the case, argued that Shell had not made adequate plans to deal with an emergency, such as a major spill.
The Shell plan, for example, "doesn't say what happens if the drill ship is disabled or has sunk," McDonnell told the judges.
She also said government did not consider the cumulative impact of drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Sullivan argued, however, the government must consider the facts at hand rather than "speculative" future impact and Shell has made extensive plans that include dealing with "the remote and infinitesimal likelihood of a spill."
READ MORE AT LINK....Shell Oil is ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer and asked a federal... more
The Times claim they've obtained a letter which shows Tony Blair 'lobbied' Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for the oil company Shell. They say the connection comes from the letter being similar to a briefing note created weeks earlier by Shell to try and get a deal with Libya.
"According to the Shell draft, the letter’s objective was “to cause the Leader to instruct the Cabinet to approve/finalise quickly” the company’s deal. Shell tells the Prime Minister to congratulate the Libyan leader on Revolution Day and to comment on the “remarkable year of progress for Libya”. In relation to the Shell deal, the draft letter said: “Understand that all the terms of the agreement have now been negotiated and approved ... now waiting for [Libyan] Cabinet approval.”"- The Times.
This is a very interesting article, because it sounds like the newspaper had to get the letters (or part of them) through the Freedom of Information, looking forward to seeing of this story goes any further. Though what sparked the investigation is the release of al-Megrahi and questions over speculated intentions in the UK-Libyan relationship.
"BP has signed a $900 million deal to explore offshore oilfields and BG Group, the former British Gas, is searching for resources in the Libyan Desert. Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil producer, secured a $500 million deal to build a liquid natural gas terminal on the Libyan coast. BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence company, also struck a deal to upgrade the country’s air traffic control system. "-The TimesThe Times claim they've obtained a letter which shows Tony Blair... more
Yesterday The Times reported plans by the Science Museum to change the name of its exhibition on climate change in response to a perceived increase in public scepticism about the science of global warming.
The report said that:
“The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate.”
Museum director, Professor Chris Rapley, told The Times:
“The Science Museum will not state a position on whether or not climate change is real, driven by humans or threatening.”
This was quickly seized upon by the most prominent climate denial websites.
Left Foot Forward now understands that the exhibition in question is sponsored by Shell, one of the biggest oil companies in the world and one of the most controversial multinationals in large part due to its climate wrecking practises and disinformation campaigns about climate science.
In the United States, Shell is part of the American Petroleum Institute, the organisation leading the campaign to peddle anti-science propaganda, and to orchestrate “astroturfing” “fake grassroots” campaigns against Obama’s clean energy reforms and the regulation of greenhouse gases.
In Canada, Shell is producing tar sands – the dirtiest oil there is, whilst here it is pulling out of renewable schemes. You have to ask: Is the Science Museum really representing the real scientific community, or pandering to the wishes of their corporate sponsors?Yesterday The Times reported plans by the Science Museum to change the name of its... more
Causecast interviews Nneka on the effects of pollution and political corruption in Nigeria and how her music is used as a tool for change here at http://www.causecast.org/news_items/9656-nneka-discusses-political-corruption-ken-saro-wiwa-and-the-shell-oil-company-in-the-niger-deltaCausecast interviews Nneka on the effects of pollution and political corruption in... more
Conservation groups based in Alaska have accused the Obama administration of repeating the mistakes of George Bush after it gave the conditional go-ahead for Shell to begin drilling offshore for oil and natural gas in the environmentally sensitive Beaufort Sea.
The Minerals Management Service, part of the federal Interior Department, yesterday gave Shell the green light to begin exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska in an Arctic area that is home to large numbers of endangered bowhead whales and polar bears, as well as walruses, ice seals and other species. The permission would run from July to October next year, though Shell has promised to suspend operations from its drill ship from late August when local Inuit people embark on subsistence hunting.
The question of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic was one of the controversial environmental issues that confronted the Bush administration. Its permission for exploration in the Beaufort Sea, widely condemned by environmentalists, was struck down last year by a federal court on grounds that it had failed sufficiently to consider the impacts on bowhead whales and the subsistence activities of Inuit populations.
The ruling was later set aside and Shell withdrew its drilling plans.
According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, there are between 30,000 and 50,0000 bowhead whales in the world, with up to 9,000 of them feeding in the Beaufort Sea. The whales migrate twice a year through the area and are crucial to the subsistence economy of the Inupiat people.
Whale experts warn that the bowhead stocks are sensitive to noise and could be driven further off shore by the disruption of drilling. That in turn would have an impact on their chances of survival, which have already been harmed by early side-effects of global warming.
There are also fears that any drilling could lead to oil spills which would be impossible to clean up amid the Arctic's broken sea ice.
Shell must now satisfy the authorities that it has met air and water quality standards and safeguards for whale protection before it can begin drilling. The oil company's head in Alaska, Pete Slaiby, said objections had been taken into account.
"We sincerely believe this exploration plan addresses concerns we have heard in the North Slope communities which have resulted in the programmes being adjusted accordingly," he said.Conservation groups based in Alaska have accused the Obama administration of repeating... more
EDMONTON — Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace seized a giant dump truck and shovel at Shell’s Albian Sands open-pit-mine north of Fort McMurray Tuesday.
A news release from the group says protesters from Canada, the U.S. and France entered the mine site at 8 a.m. and blockaded the truck and shovel by chaining together pickup trucks.
Two groups of activists then scaled the machines and chained themselves down while a third unveiled a giant banner reading: “Tar Sands: Climate Crime.”
Mike Hudema, a spokesman for the group, said they are prepared to remain at the site until their message is heard.EDMONTON — Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace seized a giant dump... more
"NEW YORK - April 23 - This afternoon, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected Royal Dutch Shell’s motion to dismiss a human rights case charging the company and the head of its Nigerian operation, Brian Anderson, with complicity in the torture and killing of peaceful Nigerian protesters more than 10 years ago."
The evidence is staggering against Shell Oil. Here is a link to the original briefs filed in the U.S. District Court. http://ccrjustice.org/files/Wiwa%20v%20Shell%20Denial%20of%20Motion%20to%20Dismiss%20April%2023%202009.pdf
What happens to a corporation like Shell if they are convicted of murder? According to U.S. law corporations are technically people. However, unlike real people, corporations are not jailed or executed. Should Shell be aloud to continue to operate in the United States if they are convicted of murder? Will you continue to purchase Shell oil products now that you know their humanitarian atrocities?"NEW YORK - April 23 - This afternoon, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District... more
Shell Oil in County Mayo, Ireland.
For over 9 years local people of Erris have had the ugly face of Shell Oil on their doorstep and have remained strong in their refusal to allow a raw gas pipeline to be laid through their lands.
This short film from 2008 show locals working with international environmental activists and the importance of this battle:
All the while since then the people continue to be harrassed, threatened, verbally & physically assaulted, arrested, taken to court, and imprisoned for attempt to keep their livelihoods of fishing and farming on ancestral lands.
Local Gardai have been used as private security, council have turned blind eyes to locals concerns and even the Irish Government openly allow this company to flaunt national and international laws.
2009 - Shell, trailing its appaling human rights and environmental record behind itself like an engorged tapeworm, has declared intent to move forward with its ill thought plans.
This time hiring ex-military and mercenaries for security...
Just a short ferry ride from the UK, its time to escape the intelligence crunch and get on over to Mayo to sample Irish Springtime - an action packed adventure for all the family!Shell Oil in County Mayo, Ireland. For over 9 years local people of Erris have had... more
Just what the world needs! God help us, haven't these people had any time to think about the future of this world! Two words: Solar, Wind!!!
Sunday, January 11, 2009 by Steamboat Pilot & Today (Colorado)
Shell Oil's Pursuit of Local Waters Could Have Big Impacts
by Tom Ross
Steamboat Springs - When Shell Oil revealed last week it had filed for substantial water rights in the Yampa River west of Craig, the news marked another milestone on the road to fulfilling a prophecy made 2 1/2 years ago:
Shell Frontier Oil and Gas has filed in Steamboat Springs water court to skim 375 cubic feet per second from this section of the Yampa River, west of Maybell in Moffat County’s Sunbeam area. Shell’s filing could dramatically change the landscape of future water rights and use in Northwest Colorado. (Photo by Hans Hallgren)Powerful interests are coming after the water that originates from melting snow in the mountains of Northwest Colorado.
That was the message that Russell George, then executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, brought to a water symposium at Hayden High School on June 1, 2006.
George, a former state legislator from Rifle, said it was inevitable that unappropriated water in the Yampa would be called upon to balance the entire state's needs and obligations. The announcement by Shell this week underscores the likelihood that the Yampa also will be called upon to help meet the nation's needs for energy.
Shell's interest in the Yampa stems from the need to amass enough water rights to support
a future oil shale industry. It's a process the company has been engaged in for decades, according to company spokesman Tracy Boyd. Shell's water rights, if granted, are initially likely to be conditional - any decision to develop a reservoir on a tributary of the Yampa, for example, is at least a decade away. And the day when water would actually be pumped out of the river is several more years further out.
However, Routt County Co mmissioner Doug Monger said if Shell succeeds in obtaining the rights, the water picture in Northwest Colorado will change forever.
"We now have just joined the rest of the world and the rest of the state in having our river over-appropriated," Monger said. "For us in the valley, to further develop any water, it makes it that much more complicated."
Monger is chairman of the Upper Yampa Water Con servancy District's board of directors and sits on the Yampa River Basin Roundtable. The latter is part of a statewide effort to determine how Colorado will meet its water needs for years to come.
A big gulp
Shell Frontier Oil and Gas filed in water court in Steamboat Springs in late December to stake its claim to skim 375 cubic feet per second from the Yampa during high flows fed by snowmelt in the spring and early summer.
That amount represents a minority of the Yampa's peak spring flows, which commonly exceed 11,000 cf/s west of Maybell, where the river is about to reach its confluence with the Green River on its way to merging with the Colorado River in Utah.
Continued at link above.Just what the world needs! God help us, haven't these people had any time to... more
In February 2007 I travelled to County Mayo, Ireland, to investigate allegations of police brutality against the local community who opposed the construction of the Shell Oil Corrib Gas Refinery and pipeline.
Other than documenting horrific accounts of one retired local, crippled for life by police, and others who had suffered broken ribs and noses, I met local blacksmith John Monaghan. He discovered the local water supply of 10,000 people was being polluted with aluminium coming from the Shell Gas Refinery site.
Despite laws in place to hold Shell to account for any pollution, the aluminium was coming from the site in dangerously high levels and neither Shell nor the local council seemed to be doing anything about it.
This documentary follows on from the More4 News report,http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/environment/irish+gas+plant+under+fire/568972, aired in June 2007, and looks at the policing and the pollution in County Mayo.In February 2007 I travelled to County Mayo, Ireland, to investigate allegations of... more