oil companies

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Shell Buying BG Group in $69.7B Takeover

Oil companies look to consolidate as oil prices slump

(Newser) - Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy British gas producer BG Group for $69.7 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced today. The move gives oil giant Shell a greater stake in natural gas markets in the wake of tumbling oil prices. A joint statement said the boards... More »

Why Amazon Villagers Sent 10-Year-Old Boy to America

Hugo Lucitante grew up with burden of saving his people

(Newser) - You may not notice Hugo Lucitante: He's a guy working odd jobs in Seattle, at places like Chipotle or a used CD store, while attending community college courses. But he's also on a mission to save an Amazonian village that he once called home, California Sunday Magazine reports.... More »

How Louisiana Crippled a Vast Environmental Lawsuit

Historian John Barry is still fighting to restore state wetlands

(Newser) - A Louisiana historian wants oil and gas companies to help restore state wetlands that are vanishing by the day—but politicians are fighting him tooth and nail, the New York Times Magazine reports. John Barry, a gritty ex-weightlifter who writes US history books, watches in horror as Louisiana wetlands recede... More »

Europe Raids Big Oil Firms, Looking for Price Rigging

BP, Shell, and Statoil involved

(Newser) - European authorities raided the offices of BP, Shell, Statoil, and other companies involved in the oil business yesterday, as part of an investigation into what they suspect is a more than decade-old conspiracy to rig oil prices. The European Commission said it had launched "unannounced inspections" of oil company... More »

Ecuador to China Oil Barons: Amazon Rainforest for Sale

Indigenous groups not happy

(Newser) - Tree-huggers will be really displeased to hear this: Ecuador is planning to auction off more than 7 million acres of the Amazon ... to Chinese oil companies. Politicians pitched bidding contracts to oil company reps in Beijing on Monday, the Guardian reports. Needless to say, indigenous groups living on the land... More »

Mexico Blames Fatal Blast on Gas Buildup, Not Bomb

No evidence of bombing in explosion that killed 37

(Newser) - A gas buildup ignited by an electrical spark or other heat source caused the blast that killed 37 people and wounded dozens of others last week at the state oil company's Mexico City headquarters, Mexico's attorney general says. Investigators are still looking for the source of the gas,... More »

Obama: Let's Stop Giving Money to Oil Companies

Energy policy continues to get big attention amid rising gas prices

(Newser) - President Obama again went on the offensive over rising gas prices today, notes ABC News . Speaking in New Hampshire, he told Americans to call their congressional representatives and demand they end the $4 billion subsidies to gas and oil companies. His takeaway line: “You can either stand up for... More »

'Defected' Libya Official on Secret Gadhafi Mission

Shokri Ghanem reportedly trying to maintain ties with oil companies

(Newser) - Libyan oil honcho Shokri Ghanem reportedly defected earlier this month , but Reuters now reports that he may actually be on a secret mission for Moammar Gadhafi. A Libyan opposition source and a source at a large international oil company say Ghanem is attempting to maintain Libya’s ties with big... More »

Senate Squashes Bill to End Big Oil Tax Breaks

Bill failed to get a 60-vote supermajority thanks to GOP opposition

(Newser) - Democrats’ bid to strip five top oil companies of some of their more generous tax breaks fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed yesterday, with 45 Republican and three Democratic senators voting against it, the New York Times reports. But Democrats say they won't give up,... More »

Chinese Hackers Hit Oil Giants

'Night Dragon' hackers stole vast amounts of sensitive info

(Newser) - Chinese hackers successfully broke into the systems of at least five Western energy multinationals in a "coordinated, covert and targeted" espionage campaign, according to a report by cybersecurity firm McAfee. The hackers had access to the oil firms' networks for years and made off with gigabytes of sensitive information... More »

BP Spill Plan Bore No Resemblance to Reality

Critics blast company's preparedness

(Newser) - As BP struggles to fix its oil containment dome, many in Washington and the oil industry say the company's botched handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill shows it failed to prepare for a major disaster—and comparing its spill plan to the reality of the current situation seems... More »

Palin: Don't Trust Foreign Oil Companies

Like that no-good BP, which used to employ Todd Palin

(Newser) - Sarah Palin is fired up about the Gulf Coast oil spill, and she's taking away a powerful lesson: Don't trust foreigners, like those tea-sippers over at British Petroleum. “Gulf: Learn from Alaska's lesson w/foreign oil co's: don't naively trust—VERIFY,” she wrote on Twitter . That sounds great and... More »

Tobacco, Oil, Bank Lobbyists Crowd Dem Senators' Retreat

Miami guest list doesn't quite jibe with anti-'fat cat' rhetoric

(Newser) - Lobbyists for some of the industries most often blasted by Democrats—oil, big tobacco, banks—made up a good chunk of the guest list at a Miami retreat featuring a dozen Senate Democrats. A $30,000 contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is typical, reports Politico , which scored a... More »

Oil Giants Bend to Iraq's Terms

War for oil hasn't been too lucrative for American companies

(Newser) - If the Iraq war was fought for oil, it’s done little to enrich American oil companies, which are just now striking deals to service the country’s fields—and at far worse terms than they’d hoped. Most companies balked at Iraq’s initial service contract offers, refusing to... More »

American Adviser to Kurds Outed as Oil Shareholder

Galbraith's policy push won him $100M

(Newser) - An influential American advocate for Iraqi Kurds, who helped successfully secure Kurdish control over new oil finds in northern Iraq in the country's constitution, stands to reap more than $100 million from the policy he shaped. Peter Galbraith, it turns out, received rights to an enormous oil stake in Kurdistan... More »

Oil Giant Tries to Settle Biggest- Ever UK Lawsuit

Trafigura offers deal to Africans sickened by toxic sludge

(Newser) - A British multinational has offered a multimillion-dollar payout to settle a case involving toxic pollution in the Ivory Coast, the Independent reports. A contractor working for oil trading firm Trafigura dumped hundreds of tons of toxic sludge around Abidjan in 2006, sickening tens of thousands. Some were permanently disfigured, and... More »

In Televised Auction of Oil Contracts, Iraq Plays Hardball

Oil ministry plays hardball on prices

(Newser) - The Iraqi oil industry has been nationalized since 1972, but today the country is awarding the first contracts in decades to private petroleum companies—live on television. So far a joint bid by British Petroleum and a Chinese firm has won the first contract, for a 17 billion-barrel field in... More »

Big Oil Drooling Over Iraq Contracts

Firms booted out in '72 eye nation's vast untapped reserves

(Newser) - Iraq is preparing to welcome back the foreign oil companies it ejected over 30 years ago, and the firms are giddy with anticipation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Contracts to revive production at neglected oil fields go up for auction next week, and competition is expected to be fierce. Oil... More »

Amazon Indians Win Repeal of Land Grab Laws

Decision hailed as major victory for indigenous people

(Newser) - Peru's Congress has revoked two laws that led to bloody clashes between police and indigenous protesters, CNN reports. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of ditching the laws that opened up the country's Amazon region to mining, logging, and oil companies. Dozens of people died earlier this month when police moved... More »

Oil Industry Squeezed as US Demand Tanks

(Newser) - Big oil execs, analysts, and government sources say a century-old American tradition is waning: after years of increasing oil consumption, US guzzling has peaked, they believe. Last year, demand plunged 7.1% for gas, diesel, and jet fuel—the biggest drop since 1950, when dependable records began. And major changes... More »

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