The Politics of Oil

Talk July 13, 2010 7:00 PM

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The Gulf of Mexico spill has put the spotlight on the oil industry and its practices to an unprecedented degree.

Join us at the Frontline Club where we will be discussing BP and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that has resulted in between 67 and 127 million gallons spilling into the sea: what are the implications not only for BP’s future but also for the oil industry?

What does the "worst US environment disaster" tell us about the oil industry and our continued reliance on this dwindling natural resource? Have the risks the industry – and politicians – have been prepared to take to sustain the supply of oil been too great?

The discussion will also reflect on Nigeria’s experience: there have been ten oil spills in the Niger delta in the past two years that have been largely ignored. Two weeks after the Gulf of Mexico explosion, an ExxonMobil pipeline burst in Akwa Ibom, spilling more than a million gallons into the delta before it was repaired. Media coverage of the Deepwater Horizon spill, along with the daily speeches by President Barack Obama, who insists he will hold BP to account for the disaster, has been in sharp contrast to the experiences of Nigerians.

Should there be a global strategy to rein in the oil companies to protect further devastation to the planet?


Dr Simon Boxall, lecturer in Oceanography at the University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre (UK) who has been involved with oil spill monitoring and impact on a number of major European spills including Braer, Sea Empress, Prestige and Erika;

Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry who had an almost 25 year career in BP, during which time he held a number of technical and commercial positions;

John Vidal, the Guardian’s environment editor;

Ben Amunwa, a campaigner with PLATFORM, an arts and campaigns group that focuses on the oil and gas industry;

Chris Skrebowski, founding director of Peak Oil Consulting and the consulting editor of Petroleum Review, he has 38 years experience in the oil industry, starting work in 1970 as a long-term planner for BP.

Picture credit: [ Mooi ]