Scraping the Barrel… 17 July 2012

Shell has a new campaign; or so it would seem from the site “Arctic Ready” , which, on first appearances, couldn’t look more like an official Shell corporate site. Taking a closer look reveals a twist; take the “Just for Kids” section for example, which describes the situation with the following blurb

Right now, the polar ice caps of our planet are melting. That’s bad—but it’s also good!

That’s right! It’s bad because our planet needs ice at the poles. But it’s good because when the polar ice melts, we at Shell can go up there to get more oil, which can do a whole lot of things.

The site is a cleverly done hoax, parodying Shell’s activities in the Arctic , but surely there will be a harsh reaction from the real Shell. The New York Observer reports that Greenpeace and The Yes Man are behind the project.

The guar bean, used for centuries by Indian farmers to feed their families and cattle, has found new popularity due to the surge in fracking. Guar has become essential for producing fracturing fluids, leading to an increase in fortune of India’s guar producers, as India produces 85% of the world’s guar beans. Other countries are starting to develop their guar producing facilities due to fears that increasing demand won’t be met, with guar prices remaining high in the meantime.

The starting phrase for five sentences, and the ends from a range of oil and gas experts makes for an interesting read. According to the majority of this select group, the importance of OPEC is waning; cap-and-trade would be better replaced by carbon tax, and, unsurprisingly, we should be looking to natural gas for the energy source of the future. It would be interesting to see the answers to the same sentences in a couple of years time…

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has begun to import refined diesel fuel from Niger, as their own refineries with a capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, are underperforming.

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