Facing climate change with “peak oil” down

News just in – Big Oil rebutting Peak Oil theory. Is this really news? Well, I think so. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already familiar with the debate. In one corner, we have some environmentalists and Peak Oil-ers, declaring that the world’s oil production has peaked, holding pictures of nice, aesthetically pleasing Hubbert’s Curve, more »

Category: Blogs, Companies, Oil 101, Reserves · Tags:

Beirut- a tale of two conferences

Last week, I attended two conferences, both related to the oil industry. The similarities between the two were clear ; both relating to the extractive industries, held in Beirut, a focus on the MENA region, but the differences were astounding and revealed a huge amount to me about potential pitfalls in the campaign for good more »

(Re)-introducing OpenOil

Since our official beginning in September 2011, our way of fulfilling our mandate here at OpenOil has evolved considerably. The main principle is the same; we work on resource curse issues, trying to ensure that citizens of resource rich countries can see the benefits from their natural resources. However, despite beginning as a purely research more »

How did we write a book in a week?

As you may already have seen, our “Understanding Contracts” booksprint was a success, and the book is now available for download from the OpenOil site. I had the chance to see the sprint from the start, and as you can imagine, it was a fascinating process.

Category: Blogs, Contracts, Oil 101, OpenOil blogs · Tags:

How to read and understand oil contracts

As some of you may know, at the end of October, we at OpenOil will be convening a group of world class experts to write a book on how to understand oil and gas contracts, aimed at the non specialist. We believe this will be the first book to open the process of oil and more »

Who cares about oil?

What will it take to get Libyans talking about their oil industry? As in detail, numbers and mechanisms, not just salon gossip and personal slander. At the end of the Paving the Future Youth Forum, held in Tripoli last week by the British Council, the participants were asked to organise themselves into groups, according to more »

The missing pieces in Iraq’s first EITI report

The next few months are an incredibly crucial time for Iraq as an implementing country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It has until August 2012 to achieve EITI Validation, following the beginning of its candidacy in February 2010. As such, any issues with regards to the activities designed to display their increase in more »

Category: Blogs, EITI, Iraq, Oil 101, Transparency · Tags:

Why doesn’t the oil industry talk to itself more?

Why doesn’t the oil industry talk more to itself? Or, to be more precise, oil industries, since while of course it’s one global market when it comes to buying and selling, and the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in the North Sea can send Singapore futures soaring, it looks a bit different and slightly more more »

Breaking the mould in the oil industry

If you were to believe the CEOs of Big Oil speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha last month, you would think that the oil industry is in great shape. Every one of them emphasised how great the industry was doing; how the industry is in effect doing the world a great service and, more »

Category: Companies, Oil 101, Transparency · Tags:

How not to address gender inequality in the oil sector

Along with 40-50 other women, and 5 or so men, I attended the Women in Industry session at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha a couple of weeks ago. Speakers at the session were all in leadership positions in the industry, a couple from a technical engineering background, and others from a management perspective. I more »

Category: Oil 101, Private Sector · Tags:

Post-Gaddafi Libya: what has changed?

I landed in Tripoli last week just over eight weeks after my previous visit there, but during that time, momentous changes had happened in Libya. I was eager to see what changes Gaddafi’s death and Libya’s subsequent official liberation on October 23rd had brought about in the capital city. News reports of rebel forces beginning more »

In the dark about the black stuff

Last week I attended a conference, the “Forum for Media and Development 2011, called “Hype or hope; the impact of digital media on journalism and development”. As many of you will already know, at OpenOil our projects cover quite a range of topics and areas, from transparency assessments in Tripoli for Revenue Watch Institute, to, more »

Category: Libya, Oil 101 · Tags:

Book Review: The Squeeze, by Tom Bower

The Squeeze is marketed as a “groundbreaking new study of the entire industry”; a tall order, given the size of the world’s largest industry. Happily, it is accurate advertising, as Bower introduces us to an astonishing number of different aspects of the industry, and manages somehow to have an insiders’ perspective on each.  The style more »

Category: Book reviews, Oil 101 · Tags:

Why can’t we all be friends?

The very large majority of the Libyans who we spoke to last week all seemed eager to use their newfound voices to air concerns, thoughts and ideas for the future, and rightfully so. It almost seemed like they themselves were overwhelmed by their ability for freedom of speech; having not enjoyed such a right for more »

Category: Libya, Oil 101, Zara's Libya blogs · Tags:

Photo Albums

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NGO people= good, Big Oil= bad… or not

To set the scene, our trip was an assessment mission for Revenue Watch Institute, looking into transparency possibilities in and around the oil and gas sector. We decided to meet up with people from a variety of backgrounds; transparency activists, newly-established NGO workers, oil sector managers, and government officials, as well as talking to the more »

Category: Libya, Oil 101, Zara's Libya blogs · Tags:

Just how much money did Gaddafi steal?

 If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past couple of months, it’s that oil=money. But how much?  I thought I’d take a closer look at the potentially huge amount of money that the Libyan state must have earned over while Gaddafi was in power- or put another way, the amount of money that more »

Category: Oil 101 · Tags: , ,

Writing on oil…how much do you know?

When I first heard about the project, Oil Reporting in Iraq, I was a little surprised that it was even necessary for people outside Iraq to deal with such a topic. It was one of the first projects I worked on at OpenOil back in 2010, and it consisted of a wikipedia-style database with articles more »

Category: Oil 101 · Tags: , , , ,

It’s all so confusing!

At the risk of sounding horribly incompetent, there’s a lot that I don’t understand about the oil industry. Good news though; it seems as though other people don’t either. Here’s an example of just how bewildering the whole thing is. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to research the oil industry in Libya, more »

Category: Oil 101 · Tags:

I work in oil…I’m sorry!

Okay. I can hear you scoffing from here, thinking that I have sold out, buying into the capitalist machine, thinking money (and the oil that comes with it) is the most important thing in the world. But, before you make any judgements, hear me out first. In the last few weeks, I’ve had to explain more »

Category: Oil 101 · Tags: