oil

How big oil is fracking to climate disaster

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 
Fracking site in the US

Hydraulic fracturing has rescued the oil and gas industry, producing huge profits and cutting dependence on crude. But the price to be paid will be huge.

In the past few years a new word has entered our lives: “fracking”. This is a method of extracting gas and oil from rocks. It originated in the US, where it was seen as the biggest energy development in decades, and is now coming to Britain. Although only in its exploratory stages here, it has already caused controversy and protests.

Resisting intervention: imperialism and protest in Mali

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Leo Zeilig looks at the latest episode in a long and bloody history of Western imperialism in Africa, fuelled by the scramble for the continent's resources

When French troops entered Mali on 11 January the mainstream media and politicians heralded the intervention as a humanitarian exercise to flush out Islamic militants. The calculation was simple. West Africa was now awash with an array of Islamic terrorists, many aligned with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and they presented the region and the world with the greatest threat to security. Apparently these militants had capitalised on "ungovernable spaces" in West Africa.

These bellicose declarations are mostly false and obscure what is really happening on the continent.

Argentina

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Suzie Wylie looks at the motives behind the Argentinian government's expropriation of one oil company.

The Law of Hydrocarbon Sovereignty passed through the Argentinian National Congress in May with almost complete support across the political spectrum. It formalised the expropriation of the Spanish multinational Repsol's shares in the oil company YPF. It was met with condemnation and the threat of reprisals from the Spanish government and the European Union.

Extreme Energy

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The panic that ensued when tanker drivers threatened to strike recently brought home the absolute centrality of oil to our modern economy.

Oil has been in the news recently, not least because the first few months of 2012 saw some of the highest ever prices for crude. The threat of war on Iran, instability in oil-rich Nigeria and the ongoing economic crisis combined to push prices above $125 a barrel. This is below the record of $147 set in July 2008, but the weakness of the pound and euro means that, in reality, the price is much worse for European consumers.

BP's sponsored leak

Issue section: 
Author: 

BP may not have been able to plug the oil leak from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but it's good at plugging its own brand.

Try a search on Google or Yahoo for the terms "oil spill" or "oil disaster" and you will see a sponsored link at the top of the page referring you to BP's website. The disgraced oil giant paid an undisclosed amount for the privilege. Following the link shows you photographs of people who appear very happy to be victims of the spill, and since the pictures of the clean-up are entirely oil free perhaps that is no surprise.

Slick cover-up

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

In the wake of the BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, Barack Obama poured scorn on the "cosy relationship" between Washington and the oil industry.

Some weren't impressed. "I think one of the risks associated with his rhetoric on the spill is that it hardens the divide between the Democratic Party and the business community," said David Rothkopf, a former commerce department official under Bill Clinton. "And that's something that while it seems to be in the spirit of the moment now, could have serious ramifications come election time."

But business and government appear to be working together as well as ever, aside from the rhetoric.

Oil and Obama: Same old drill

Issue section: 
Author: 

"I don't take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won't let them block change anymore," said Barack Obama in a campaign ad last year.

Despite this, he did manage to accept $31,200 from donors registered as Shell Oil employees during his successful run for the presidency. His campaign was also endorsed by Broderick Johnson, president of Bryan Cave Strategies - a lobbying firm representing Shell Oil.

Shell tanker drivers' strike - oil on troubled waters

Issue section: 

"The Shell drivers have driven a coach and horses through the Brown and Darling pay freeze," said Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, after the Shell tanker drivers won a 14 percent pay deal last month.

A host of commentators explained how it was inevitable they would win: "exceptional case... small group... concentration of power... strategic weak spot... essential resource..." Essential bollocks! No one claimed inevitable victory before the strike (or it wouldn't have happened, would it?)

Blood, Sweat and Oil

Issue section: 
Author: 

In recent months Iraq's oil workers have come into confrontation with the puppet government in Baghdad. Kamil Mahdi writes on a union movement forged in struggles.

Iraq's oil workers represent a small proportion of the country's workforce, but they are historically some of the best organised and most politically conscious groups. Their politics has always combined labour issues with wider working class and national concerns. This is because the nature of their industry brought them into direct contact with multinational capital and its imperialist protectors as well as with subservient or oppressive governments. The workers were also conscious of the supreme importance of their industry and of the greed that surrounds it.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - oil