The rhetoric of COP26 is now just rhetoric as Russia’s resource ransoming has given Europe a reality check, today Boris called in energy barons to discuss domestic energy security in the light of Putin’s stranglehold on European gas. Downing Street says they will also be meeting renewable and nuclear companies in the coming weeks. Oil and gas however were his first priority.
The government emphasises it remains committed to North Sea oil and the gas industry as key assets if the UK is to achieve greater energy independence – ever more crucial following the invasion of Ukraine and the consequent recent decision to end imports of Russian oil over the course of this year:
“The Prime Minister and CEOs discussed increasing investment in the North Sea oil and gas industry and boosting supply of domestic gas. This included how the UK can remove barriers facing investors and developers, and help projects come online more quickly. They agreed to work together going forwards to help accelerate this further.”
Steve Barclay, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Energy Minister Greg Hands, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke also joined the meeting at Downing Street. Those represented from the oil and gas industry included: the Oil and Gas Authority, Blackstone Energy Partners, Bluewater Energy, BP, Carlyle International Energy Partners, Equinor, Esso, Greenergy, Harbour Energy, Neptune Energy, Offshore Energies UK, Prax Group, TotalEnergies and Shell. All this is a welcome change from the frankly pie-in-the-sky rhetoric of COP26. Noticeably absent were onshore gas firm Caudrilla though…
An advert for Canadian oil showing a steamy lesbian kiss was pulled after killjoys lashed out. The ad, fronted by the Canada Oil Sands Community Facebook page, featured a raunchy tryst with the caption “In Canada lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia if you’re a lesbian YOU DIE!”
While the page has removed the advert, it today uploaded a new one depicting two men being hanged, with the text:
“Did you know it’s against the law to be gay in Saudi Arabia? If you get caught being gay you die. Why is Canada importing oil from places like this when we have our own?”
Pro-fracking groups in Lancashire should listen and learn…
Scandal-hit Brazilian oil company Petrobras received £250 million from the UK taxpayer last year, extending its credit line to over £1.1 billion. While loans to companies buying British goods is fairly standard practice, the government decided to extend Petrobras’ line of credit after it became embroiled in a huge corruption and bribery scandal that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. What’s worse, the state-owned company has had a plummeting credit rating in recent months, with Moody’s giving them a rating of B3 and the Wall Street Journal calling them “the World’s most indebted oil company”. What could go wrong?
David Cameron claims today that it is the EU’s common aviation market which led to a 40% reduction in air fares. In reality gas guzzling jet airliners have more than halved their fuel costs since 2014, oil is trading at $48 a barrel – down from over $100 only a couple of years ago. Don’t worry Dave, you’ll still get your cheap EasyJet flights post-Brexit…
Alan Duncan has signed a lucrative £96,000-a-year deal with a controversial oil firm linked to dictators and war criminals. The Tory MP has been appointed non-executive chairman of Fujairah Refining, the jewel in the crown of global energy company Vitol. He will be paid £8,000-a-month for an annual commitment of 156 hours. He’s struck oil!
Vitol might ring bells for some readers, it is a $300 billion energy trading company which runs oil exploration projects in corrupt, authoritarian countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Duncan will already know that, having made his money as an oil trader before he came to parliament. He’ll also know that Vitol has been mired in scandals over deals with Serbian war criminals and the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein. More recently the company faced allegations over its links to the dodgy Libyans and sanctions-busting dealings with the Iranian government.
Duncan says he consulted the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before accepting the role. Kerching!
The SNP have long tied their hopes to the price of oil and, now it’s under $30 a barrel, Sturgeon is pushing for big oil tax breaks. As tax policy is made in Westminster, Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney has scheduled an “urgent meeting” with Osborne. This is despite the Chancellor announcing £1.7 billion pounds worth of tax breaks for oil and gas last year…
The SNP suspended new coal bed methane and fracking sites in Scotland last year, killing off a growing industry in its infancy. Now they want Osborne to pay big oil for their mistake. Tax breaks for big business while eternally delaying fracking decisions – why don’t the SNP just go and join the Tories?