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Posts on ‘June 13th, 2009’

Rush for ‘easiest oil in the world’

June 14, 2009

The oil giants are to return to Iraq for the first time since 1972

Oil Field

It should make good viewing. For the hopeful contestants, it has been a long wait — since 1972 to be exact. That was when the Iraqi oil industry was nationalised and foreign operators were booted out.

Now the oil giants have been invited back. At the ceremony on June 29 and 30, Hussain al-Shahristani, the oil minister, will reveal which of them will be the first to be let back into the south of the country, where most of its oil and gas resources are found.

Up for grabs are 20-year concessions to operate six huge oilfields and two gas fields. In all, 32 companies are bidding, including BP, Shell, Sinopec of China, Lukoil of Russia and Total of France. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell settles with Nigerian tribe

Los Angeles Times EDITORIAL: Saturday June 13, 2009 The Ogoni claim victory over the oil giant, although the company insists the $15.5-million award is a humanitarian gesture.
After 13 years of litigation, Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to settle with plaintiffs who accused the oil giant of complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria, the most infamous of which was the execution of prominent playwright, author and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. A member of the Ogoni tribe, Saro-Wiwa was a vocal critic of Shell and the brutal military government of Gen. Sani Abacha. His eloquence brought international attention to Shell’s questionable environmental practices in the Niger River delta and the government’s lax regulation of environmental laws.     

Oil production in Ogoniland started in the 1950s, and what followed is a now predictable pattern in many oil-producing countries: Corrupt government officials enriched themselves; the local population was marginalized politically, and their ancestral land suffered enormous environmental damage. Led by Saro-Wiwa, the Ogoni demanded an end to oil spills and to the clearing of mangrove forests to make way for Shell pipelines, as well as a share of oil revenues. The government responded by burning villages and raping and murdering residents, according to human rights groups. Saro-Wiwa was arrested, tried in secret and, along with eight other Ogoni leaders, hanged.  read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.


by Leburah Ganago

The payment by Shell, of $15.5 million dollars out of court settlement in the case of the Wiwa family and others vs Shell firmly established the oil company’s culpability in the November 10, 1995 hangings and other extra judicial executions which took place in Ogoni at the height of our struggle in the 1990s. However, what is important to the larger Ogoni community and the rest of the Niger Delta is  not the peanut “compensation” which is barely enough to pay for the cost of litigation spanning 13 years, but the vindication of our long held position that Shell is the central figure in our ordeal.   read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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