Energy companies - July 2
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BP shuts alternative energy HQ
Terry Macalister, The Guardian
BP has shut down its alternative energy headquarters in London, accepted the resignation of its clean energy boss and imposed budget cuts in moves likely to be seen by environmental critics as further signs of the oil group moving "back to petroleum".
But Tony Hayward, the group's chief executive, said BP remained as committed as ever to exploring new energy sources and the non-oil division would benefit from the extra focus of being brought back in house.
(29 June 2009)
ExxonMobil continuing to fund climate sceptic groups, records show
David Adam, The Guardian
The world's largest oil company is continuing to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming, despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial, a new analysis shows.
Company records show that ExxonMobil handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to such lobby groups in 2008. These include the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas, which received $75,000 (£45,500), and the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, which received $50,000.
According to Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics, both the NCPA and the Heritage Foundation have published "misleading and inaccurate information about climate change."
...In its 2008 corporate citizenship report, published last year, ExxonMobil said it would cut funds to several groups that "divert attention" from the need to find new sources of clean energy.
The NCPA and Heritage Foundation are included among groups funded by ExxonMobil, according to details of its "2008 Worldwide Contributions and Community Investments" published recently.
Ward said: "ExxonMobil has been briefing journalists for three years that they were going to stop funding these groups. The reality is that they are still doing it. If the world's largest oil company wants to fund climate change denial then it should be upfront about it, and not tell people it has stopped."
(1 July 2009)
Oil companies reject Iraq's terms
Six oil fields and two gas fields were available in a televised auction that was the first big oil tender in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.
BP and China's CNPC agreed to run the 17 billion barrel Rumaila field after Exxon Mobil turned it down.
Iraq has asked the rest of the companies to consider resubmitting bids for the other seven contracts.
...For each field, the ministry specified a minimum production level, which was close to the amount that is currently being produced.
The bidders will not be paid for anything up to the minimum production level - but they say how much they want to be paid for each barrel produced above the minimum, and also predict how much oil they will be able to produce.
From that, the auctioneers pick a winning bidder.
However, there is another twist. In a red envelope, the auctioneers have the maximum amount that the oil ministry is prepared to pay.
Those amounts were significantly less than the oil companies were asking for, so the winning bidders were asked to cut their prices.
...Iraq has the world's third-largest proven oil reserves, with 115 billion barrels, of which the fields up for auction account for about 43 billion barrels.
But there has been some controversy about the auction, with members of the Iraqi parliament objecting to not having the chance to approve the deals.
(2X June 2009)