Beyond Petroleum and Beyond Power

What a difference eighteen months can make. In July 2010 the United States was gunning for BP; President Obama had decided to call it, with a sneer in his voice, British Petroleum (nothing to do with me, Governor) and claiming billions of dollars as compensation for the oil spill in the Gulf of México known as Deepwater Horizon. Today BP, having paid much of the damages (although I am not terribly confident that the money has cascaded down to those who really suffered) BP declares profits for the last quarter of 2011 of $7.6 billion. The profits for the like period in 2010 were $4,6 billion. Continue reading

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…

A year ago most of us were concerned by the 4.9 million barrels (205.8 million gallons) of oil spillage in the Gulf of México. Today there is little news on the spillage. The Gulf has absorbed much of the oil, much of it has been dispersed by chemicals and much cleaned up from the sea shore. It seems some of the marine life is safe and prospering; although in certain cases there has been irremediable damage to the environment. Continue reading

Oil, Ogoni and Shell

Oil damages the environment, not just by the burning of it creating climate change but in other more noticeable ways. Since 1958 oil companies have been extracting oil from the Ogoniland region of Nigeria. This is a flat tropical wetland, where the local population have fished and farmed for centuries, interrupted by events such as slave trading and, in its modern form, oil exploitation. Both slavery and oil exploitation have features in common where oil is recklessly taken out of the land, without care as to whether the process beggars or enslaves the local population. Continue reading

What happened to the oil and gas released at Deepwater Horizon?

The Gulf of México is a very large body of water and for most of us thousands of miles away. With all of the scandal presently occupying the public about the papers, the politicians and the policemen, it is easy to forget that for three months just more than a year ago the Deepwater Horizon’s well leaked what turned out to be more than four million barrels of gas, oil and similar hydrocarbon substances into the Gulf of México. What has become of it? Continue reading

The Gulf of Mexico one year after the oil spillage

A year on from the 200 million gallon oil spillage in the Gulf of México reports are that the fish numbers have increased, and the fishing is better than ever. Shark populations have increased threefold, reef figures by twofold and shrimp numbers have doubled. Continue reading

What will be the long term effects of the oil spillage?

 No one knows (or no one will tell) us precisely how much oil has leaked from the Deepwater Horizon a mile below the sea in the Gulf of México. Current estimates to date are that around a million barrels have so far been pushed into the sea since 20th April 2010. BP has so far spent $990 million in trying to stop the leak and clean up the mess, which makes for around $100 a barrel in clean up costs. Continue reading