BIG OIL

NEWS:

Shareholders Press Big Oil for Risk Information [The Environment Report]

The major risks with tar sand include dealing with pollution, and with lawsuits from native tribes that live near the oil sands.

Several investors’ groups want four major oil companies to reveal the risks of getting oil from Canadian tar sands. Rebecca Williams reports shareholders will be considering this at BP’s general meeting this week.

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Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers [Jonathan Owen and Paul Bignell]

An orchestrated campaign is being waged against climate change science to undermine public acceptance of man-made global warming, environment experts claimed last night.

The attack against scientists supportive of the idea of man-made climate change has grown in ferocity since the leak of thousands of documents on the subject from the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit last December.

Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organisations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe.

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Chinese Purchase of Oil Sands Stake Could Revalue Resource [OilPrice.com]

The acquisition of a 9% stake in the Syncrude oil sands venture by China’s Sinopec for $4.65 billion – substantially more than expected – could pave the way for a revaluation of Canada’s vast deposits of a resource that is environmentally controversial.

Canadian Oil Sands Trust, the biggest stakeholder in Syncrude with 36%, led energy stocks higher in Toronto Stock Exchange trading after the Chinese company paid a hefty premium for the stake held by ConocoPhillips. Part of the stock’s gain was due to relief that Canadian Oil Sands would not be selling new shares to acquire the stake itself.

The investment is the largest so far by a Chinese company in a North American energy project as China continues to scour the globe for energy resources.

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ANALYSIS:

Big Oil Does the Math, Proposes a New Tax on Itself [Chris Morrison]

// //

A snowflake may have just fallen in Hell: Several large oil companies, including Shell and BP, have reportedly helped design a new gas tax for the United States that would add a significant cost to fuel for consumers and businesses.

But as with every move from Big Oil, there’s a logical reason for the support. They consider the tax as the lesser of two evils: though it might slightly dent demand for fuel, a gas tax would probably be better for business than taking a hit at their refineries.

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COMMENT:

You Can’t Always Get What You Want [Matthew Philips]

President Obama’s March 30 decision to open up vast tracts of the Atlantic Ocean to oil and natural-gas exploration triggered the predictable range of responses: drilling advocates, including Republican lawmakers, offered tepid approval, while environmentalists complained. But lost amid the political debates—did Obama secure conservative Democrats’ support for energy legislation? Could Republicans still run on “Drill, Baby, Drill?”—was a question with more practical impact: What’s down there?

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Fox News: 4th Largest Owner of Shares is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia: Will Big Oil Buy Our Next Election? [Julia Bodeeb]

Fox “news” is owned by the parent company News Corp. The four top shareholders of News Corp are the Murdoch family, Liberty Media, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Prince Alwaleed bin Talan.

DC Bureau reports that Prince Alwaleed bin Talan, a nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia, “has personally donated huge amounts of money to the families of the Palestinian suicide bombers.” He also released a statement after 9/11 blaming the attacks on the U.S.: “not on the 15 airline hijackers from Saudi Arabia—but on the United States’ support of Israel.”

[READ THE REST]

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