Scraping the Barrel… 18 July 2012

Royal Dutch Shell PLC faces a $5 billion dollar fine from Nigerian authorities due to an oil spill off the Nigerian coast last December, subject to approval by Nigeria’s Parliament. 40,000 barrels of oil were spilled, but Shell claims the amount is unwarranted as, according to them, none of the crude reached land. The fine equates to around $125,000 a barrel; in comparison, BP would face charges of only $4,300 a barrel, and only if gross negligence is proved.

A delegation from the EITI met with senior Burmese government officials, including Industry Minister Soe Thane and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi mentioned numerous times on her recent trip to Europe the need for transparency in the country’s extractives industries; this is seemingly the next step, although all parties agree there is a long way to go before Burma can submit an EITI candidacy application.

In the UK at least, it is safe to say that everyone has now heard of G4S thanks to the Olympics fiasco. Here we see another side to them; in 2009, their CEO confirmed that the “corporation had conducted “preparatory work” with oil and gas companies for contracts in Iraq”. Guarding oil installations in high risk environments- energy security, in the most literal of senses- could perhaps provide the panacea to their Olympic woes.

This week’s chart plots emerging markets by the proportion of Iran oil that they import as a percentage of their total supply, against the percentage of Iran’s total exports that this makes up. The result is a graph showing which countries will be most affected by sanctions, which, from the Iranian perspective, are China, Japan, India and South Korea. For the countries themselves, Sri Lanka looks set to lose out, as Iranian oil imports make up 100% of their total imports.

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