Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Car on left from a non-taxhaven (Germany); Car on the right from Zug Switzerland, where Transocean has its corporate registration.
Tax Haven and Not

67% Norway Government owned, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statoil, Statoil, whose Arctic drilling near Bear Island, has been recently under protest by Greenpeace, is using a Transocean rig flagged in the far away Pacific Marshall Islands. Transocean moved its corporate registration to Zug, Switzerland to evade US taxation:
Over the years, Transocean has moved its incorporation location to take advantage of lower taxes in some jurisdictions. Transocean was originally incorporated in the US state of Delaware, but moved its corporate registration to the Cayman Islands in 1999. In 2008, it moved its registration to the canton of Zug, Switzerland, where it is currently incorporated. Only 12 of its employees work in the Zug office, according to a company spokesperson. The registration move allowed Transocean to lower its corporate income tax rate from 35 percent in the US to 16 percent in Zug.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transocean For details of Transocean’s involvement in the 2010 BP drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_drilling_rig_explosion
Greenpeace Statoil demo on Transocean drilling rig end May 2014
As Ana Mules of Greenpeace observes, “Foreign flagging of vessels is actually quite common. It allows companies like Transocean (which owns the rig) to use loopholes and strict confidentiality agreements, avoid environmental responsibilities, reduce costs, and dodge taxes. You only need to stick to the rules of the flag state, and in the Marshall Islands these rules are pretty weak. The Deepwater Horizon rig which blew up in 2010 the Gulf of Mexico was also flagged to the Marshall Islands. It was also owned by Transocean.http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/flag-it/blog/49452/

A small flag stopped the Norwegian coastguard from ending our protest. Now a different one could frustrate them even more
Blogpost by Ana Mules – May 30, 2014 at 18:07
Our brave activists have now delayed the giant oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen for over 80 hours, first by occupying the rig and now by occupying the drill site with the ship Esperanza. And as long as they stay there, Statoil can’t drill.

With a short drilling ‘window’ before the ocean freezes over again, the clock is ticking. Arctic oil drilling is uber-extreme on a good day, and Statoil likes pushing the boundaries to prove its technical capacity. This time they’ve overstretched.

And there’s an interesting subplot to this story, and it concerns those little pieces of cloth that we call flags. The Esperanza is Dutch-flagged, which makes sense because Greenpeace International is based in the Netherlands.

However Statoil’s rig is flagged to the Marshall Islands, a tiny country located in the northern Pacific Ocean. So what on earth has a small Pacific island got to do with this?

Foreign flagging of vessels is actually quite common. It allows companies like Transocean (which owns the rig) to use loopholes and strict confidentiality agreements, avoid environmental responsibilities, reduce costs, and dodge taxes. You only need to stick to the rules of the flag state, and in the Marshall Islands these rules are pretty weak.

The Deepwater Horizon rig which blew up in 2010 the Gulf of Mexico was also flagged to the Marshall Islands. It was also owned by Transocean. The US Coast Guard’s investigation into the spill found two parties with oil on their hands: Transocean, the oil rig’s owner, and the Republic of Marshall Islands shipping registry, which was responsible for overseeing safety on the rig.

This flag business already caused a big problem for Statoil earlier this week. While the rig is in international waters, the Coastguard needs to ask the flag state if it can board the rig and remove peaceful protestors. The Marshall Islands are not easy to look up in a phone book, and it took some time before the coastguard got permission to board the rig and remove our climbers“.
Read the rest and take action here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/flag-it/blog/49452/ See also: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/get-lost-zone-novel-concept-international-law-20140530

Norway tows Greenpeace ship out of Arctic oil rig zone
Posted:Fri, 30 May 2014 23:02:51 GMT
OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s Coast Guard on Friday evening towed away a Greenpeace ship that tried to block Statoil’s rig from drilling the world’s most northerly oil well in the Barents Sea, the environment group said
. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/lhBkgC1q6Zw/story01.htm

The Marshall Islanders have another major problem, besides the rising sea levels mentioned in the Greenpeace article, which is ongoing pollution from historic nuclear weapons testing.

And, speaking of which, is anyone taking into consideration all of the sunken radioactive debris and especially the sunken Russian nuclear submarine with two nuclear war heads?

Lost Russian Nuclear Sub with Two Nuclear Warheads Near Bear Island (Bjørnøya)

Sunken Russian nuclear sub near Bear Island, Arctic, CIA Factbook

According to Gazprom controlled Russian newspaper Izvestia, printed in Russian Pravda,
USSR’s sunken Komsomolets submarine may turn into underwater Chernobyl” 24.04.2009 by Izvestia, from
http://english.pravda. ru/history/24-04-2009/107453-komsomolets_submarine-0/
In the above article (and elsewhere) we are told that US, Norwegian, and Russia experts found some radioactive pollution at the site, the torpedo launching gear for the two nuclear warheads had been smashed in the accident and weapons grade plutonium was leaking into the ocean. According to the article, Russian experts patched the Komsomolets Nuclear Submarine with cover plugs-titanium plates, in May of 1993. They note that the protection was considered good for 20-25 years and they claim that there were no recent traces of plutonium in the water. This article was written 5 years ago in 2009. 1993 plus 20 years is 2013. 1993 plus 25 years is 2018. We are in 2014. So, even if it was properly sealed it is either leaking now or will soon. Re Gazprom and Izvestia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izvestia

And, how does Komsomolets and other nuclear sites tie into oil and gas drilling?

Arctic Nuclear Waste left by Russia, Bellona.org via BBC news
Bellona.org map of Nuclear Waste left by Russia on the Ocean Floor via BBC news (2003)

We need to talk about the impacts of Russia’s Nuclear Icebreaker Fleet, as well as its Floating Nuclear Power Plants, under construction for the Arctic, and the Nuclear Submarines of multiple countries. Oil and Gas drilling in the Arctic is a potentially serious problem. The weather up there is generally much more tempestuous than that in the Gulf of Mexico (with the possible exception of mega-hurricanes in the Gulf) and we saw what happened in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP oil spill in 2010. That disaster is still ongoing for the people and animals. But, we cannot continue to forget the nuclear dangers simply because, unlike oil, radiation is invisible to the eye.

Ring Seals Should Be Worried

Ringedsealportrait

Is Fukushima and other ocean radiation why Alaskan, eastern Russian and Japanese Ring Seals (and some others) lost hair and fell ill starting shortly after the Tepco-Fukushima Disaster, in what the US gov calls an Unusual Mortality Event (UME)? The Unusual Mortality Event is considered still ongoing for the Seals. Is it why 28% of Polar Bears in Alaska suffered hair loss? Is it why Alaska’s largest Caribou herd declined 28% between 2011-2013?
Sick Seal, ca late 2011, post Tepco-Fukushima disaster
North Slope Borough Dept. Wildlife via NOAA, sick seal
Photo by North Slope Borough Dept. of Wildlife Management via NOAA https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/protectedresources/seals/ice/diseased/ume_factsheet0214.pdf

In a study of the muscles of marine mammals from Svalbard and the Barents and North Greenland Seas (12 polar bears, 15 ringed seals, 10 hooded seals, 7 bearded seals, 14 harp seals, one walrus, one white whale and one blue whale in the period 2000-2003), the Polar Bears, Ring Seals, and the white whale had the highest uptake of Radioactive Cesium 137.
Radiocaesium (137Cs) in marine mammals from Svalbard, the Barents Sea and the North Greenland Sea“. Sci Total Environ. 2006 Jun 15;363(1-3):87-94, by Andersen M1, Gwynn JP, Dowdall M, Kovacs KM, Lydersen C. Abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16154620
How about checking their organs and bones for other radionuclides such as plutonium?

Some Additional Information:

Murmansk conference concludes sunken Russian subs must immediately be raised“Published on May 26, 2014 by Anna Kireeva
MURMANSK – It is of critical importance that two sunken derelict Russian nuclear submarines, one of which was scuttled as radioactive trash and the other of which sank in rough weather on its way to decommissioning, be raised from the floor of the Kara Sea, scholars from Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute said Friday.” Article is here: http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2014-05-murmansk-conference-concludes-sunken-russian-subs-must-immediately-raised
The article discusses the K-159 at the entrance to Kola Bay and the K-27 offshore of the former Russian nuclear test bombing site and dump, Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, a former nuclear bomb testing range during Soviet times. Concern is expressed that radioactive waste strewn across the Kara sea could be stumbled upon during oil and gas drilling. Also mentioned is the Komsomolets nuclear submarine, sunk in 1989, and “whose reactors were not prepared for submersion. The Komsomolets is the only vessel from which the escape of radionuclides into the undersea environmental has been established as a result of loss of integrity of the No 1 reactor chamber.

Russia announces enormous finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas
Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media.
” Published on August 28, 2012 by Bellona Article here: http://bellona.org/news/uncategorized/2012-08-russia-announces-enormous-finds-of-radioactive-waste-and-nuclear-reactors-in-arctic-seas

Doesn’t look new news – looks like Russia rediscovers it every 5 or 10 years and promptly forgets it due to the costs and challenges. Bellona has continued to warn everyone to little avail, i.e. with limited success. They keep trying.

An indepth study into the problem from 2001, “The Arctic Nuclear Challenge” by Bellona http://bellona.org/imagearchive-org/binary_files_attachments/fil_The_Arctic_Nuclear_Challenge.pdf

Additional articles from Bellona, which has worked very hard on this issue for a very long time: http://bellona.org/news/uncategorized/2012-02-rosatom-bellona-seminar-on-global-partnership-progress-shows-signs-of-hope http://bellona.org/news/arctic/arctic-transport-and-shipping/2013-09-update-fire-russian-pacific-fleet-nuclear-submarine-said-extinguished-casualties-radiation-leaks http://bellona.no/assets/From-polar-to-nuclear.pdf

The World Wildlife Fund,WWF, is also worried:
Nuclear Waste Lurks Beneath Arctic Ice
The Moscow Times, Oct. 23 2013 19:36 Last edited 19:36
As the Arctic thaws … oceanic currents in the region could strengthen, carrying the radioactive material to other continents, Alexander Shestakov, head of the Global Arctic Program at WWF, or World Wildlife Fund, said.http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/nuclear-waste-lurks-beneath-arctic-ice/488382.html