Arctic, Bahamas, BP, BP oil spill, Crimea, deepwater drilling, drilling the Arctic, ENL, extractive industries, Exxon Mobil CEO Tillerson, Exxon Neftegas, Exxon Neftegas Limited, Exxon Valdez oil spill, ExxonMobil, Glencore, Gulf of Mexico, offshore drilling, oil drilling equipment, Oil Spills, President Putin, Putin, Rex Tillerson, RN-Astra, Rosneft, Russia, Russia sanctions, Sakhalin, sanction evasion, sanctions, sanctions avoidance, SODECO, Tax avoidance, Tax evasion, Tax havens, Texas, Tillerson, Tony Hayward, Trump, Ukraine, US Secretary of State, Videsh
In 2013, less than a year prior to sanctions imposed against Russia:
“Vladimir Putin is encouraging Exxon and Rosneft to start their new partnership off with a bang and head for the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If any company knows how to one up BP on oil spills, its Rosneft.“. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/The-dangers-of-Arctic-oil/Black-ice–Russian-oil-spill-disaster/ Former BP CEO Tony Hayward led Glencore and BP actually have minority ownership in Russian State-owned Rosneft!
US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley, Oil beach feather BP
BP oiled turtle
Only the sanctions against Russia are holding back the creation of what is effectively a mega-conglomerate monster of ExxonMobil and Russian State owned Rosneft. Trump nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO (until 30 Dec. 2016) Rex Tillerson is a Putin buddy and wants to stop sanctions against Russia (in place subsequent to Russian annexation of Crimea). Just imagine the symbolic value for Putin of drilling offshore in the US Gulf of Mexico and west Texas. Former KGB agent Putin was around 40 years of age when the Soviet Union officially ended.
“US and EU sanctions ban transfer of technology for use in Arctic deep water offshore (>500 feet) and for shale oil development…” “Sanctions and the Future of Russian Oil and Gas” , by James Henderson, December 2014. http://energypolicy.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/energy/James%20Henderson_Impact%20of%20Russian%20Sanctions_Dec%202014.pdf. While it is unclear if ExxonMobil’s activities as operator and 30% owner of Russia’s Sakhalin Project is in violation of the letter of the sanctions, it is in violation of their spirit. And, its many subsidiaries seemingly would make it easy to bypass sanctions. Exxon Neftegas Limited, a Bahamas based subsidiary of U.S.-based ExxonMobil, is 30 percent owner and the operator of the Sakhalin I project; Russian majority state owned Rosneft’s subsidiaries Sakhalinmorneftegas-Shelf and RN-Astra have 11.5 percent and 8.5% for a total of 20%. Japanese consortium SODECO has 30% and Indian state-owned oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd. has 20 percent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-I. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosneft
Rosneft is an integrated oil company still majority owned by the Government of Russia: “On 30 August 2011, Rosneft announced that instead of BP the partner for EPNZ-1, EPNZ-2 and EPNZ-3 in the Kara Sea will be ExxonMobil. In exchange, subject to approval by U.S. regulators, in addition to a share in oil production in Russian fields, Rosneft was granted participation in U.S. fields in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosneft Under the care-not lead of former US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, and with the complicity of many other officials, Russian government owned Uranium One (Rosatom subsidiary) was allowed to buy up US uranium mines. Rosatom and hence Uranium One answer directly to President Putin.
In July of 2013, Russian government news announced that “Putin urges Rosneft and ExxonMobil to Start Joint Projects in Gulf of Mexico“: https://sputniknews. com/voiceofrussia/news/2013_07_16/Putin-urges-Rosneft-and-Exxon-Mobil-to-start-joint-projects-in-Gulf-of-Mexico-4500.
While not as bad as radioactive discharges, many of which will be around for thousands and even millions of years, the oil from petroleum spills can take hundreds of years to degrade in some environments, such as Tundra. Marshland and ground water are very problematic to clean-up. See: “The Basics of Oil Spill Cleanup“, Third Edition. By Merv Fingas (Some can be read online.). Furthermore, fossil fuel oil and gas development concentrate naturally existing radioactive materials, such as radium – NORM- into TeNORM (Technologically enhanced Naturally Occurring Radionuclides.). Once again, this last is not as high dose as from uranium mining or discharges from the nuclear fuel chain, but as there is no safe dose of ionizing radiation, it is still deadly.
“When BP spilt 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the whole world took notice. The Russian oil industry spills more than 30 million barrels on land each year — seven times the amount that escaped during the Deepwater Horizon disaster — often under a veil of secrecy and corruption. And every 18 months, more than four million barrels spews into the Arctic Ocean, where it becomes everyone’s problem.” http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/The-dangers-of-Arctic-oil/Black-ice–Russian-oil-spill-disaster/
1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
2004-03-24 09:01 Mav 376×252× Beginning 3 days after the vessel grounded, a storm pushed large quantities of fresh oil onto the rocky shores of many of the beaches in the Knight Island chain. In this photograph, pooled oil is shown stranded in the rocks. NOAA photo and text, via Wikipedia.
Up until last December, the Russian government owned 69.5% of Rosneft and BP owned 19.75%. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosneft. Probably due to rumors-news of the Tillerson nomination for US Secretary of State, Glencore bought an almost 20% stake in Russian Rosneft in conjunction with Qatar. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/07/glencore-buys-stake-in-russian-state-oil-firm-rosneft
It looks like the current Glencore is a sort of Qatar-BP redux. The CEO of Glencore is former BP CEO Tony Hayward and the largest shareholder is Qatar. It doesn’t sound like it has much to do with the previous Glencore.
According to Reuters, Commodities, Fri Dec 2, 2016, “Russia’s Rosneft, Exxon drop plans for Gulf of Mexico oil development: Ifax” because of “lack of prospects”.
Will that change if Rex Tillerson becomes Secretary of State?
“Rosneft is responsible for 75 percent of spills in Russians largest oil province while extracting only 25 percent of the total regional output…” (Cassady Sharp, Greenpeace, 2013 – see more below)
“Mega US and international oil companies have partnered with Russian oil companies who not only have a horrendous track record of environmental safety and regulation, but also have little to no offshore drilling experience and little interest in a positive public image. So far Exxon, BP, Statoil and Eni have partnered with Rosfneft, a government-owned oil company, while Shell has joined Gazprom, Russian’s largest company, in what you might call an ecological death squad. What do these companies get out of shaking hands and sealing the deal? In exchange for access to the Russian Arctic and the continental shelf, the international oil companies will provide capital and technical expertise. They’re going to need it…” (Cassady Sharp, Greenpeace, 2013, read below).
“The EnvironmentaLIST: 6 facts about oil companies’ Arctic drilling plans that will leave you thinking WTF by Cassady Sharp
July 24, 2013
While Shells absolute catastrophe of an Arctic drilling attempt last year should have scared off any prospective oil companies from sinking their talons into the pristine ecosystem, think again. Mega US and international oil companies have partnered with Russian oil companies who not only have a horrendous track record of environmental safety and regulation, but also have little to no offshore drilling experience and little interest in a positive public image. So far Exxon, BP, Statoil and Eni have partnered with Rosfneft, a government-owned oil company, while Shell has joined Gazprom, Russian’s largest company, in what you might call an ecological death squad. What do these companies get out of shaking hands and sealing the deal? In exchange for access to the Russian Arctic and the continental shelf, the international oil companies will provide capital and technical expertise. They’re going to need it.
6. Rosneft is responsible for 75 percent of spills in Russians largest oil province while extracting only 25 percent of the total regional output.
This fact isn’t that surprising considering the company also has the lowest overall safety budget.
While Shells absolute catastrophe of an Arctic drilling attempt last year should have scared off any prospective oil companies from sinking their talons into the pristine ecosystem, think again. More Mega US and international oil companies have partnered with Russian oil companies who not only have a horrendous track record of environmental safety and regulation, but also have little to no offshore drilling experience and little interest in a positive public image. So far Exxon, BP, Statoil and Eni have partnered with Rosfneft, a government-owned oil company, while Shell has joined Gazprom, Russian’s largest company, in what you might call an ecological death squad. What do these companies get out of shaking hands and sealing the deal? In exchange for access to the Russian Arctic and the continental shelf, the international oil companies will provide capital and technical expertise. They’re going to need it.
5. No director or member of the Gazprom board of directors has a lick of offshore experience.
Suppose they left Must have experience in oil drilling off the job descriptions?
In addition to Gazprom having no experienced leadership on offshore drilling, Rosneft is no expert either. In fact, they have never operated an offshore project to an extraction stage. Meaning the thing that they’re trying to do in one of the most fragile and crucial ecosystems in the world, they’ve actually never done before.
4. Gazprom ordered a $3.7 million tablet for its CEO claiming it was crucial to running the business more efficiently. Because a fancy iPad is all you need to run an oil company.
While millions of dollars can buy you a fancy tablet, it apparently can’t buy you offshore drilling experience.
3. In 2011, Gazprom rig, the Kolskaya, sank off the coast of Russia killing 53 of its 67 crew members in the frigid Pacific Ocean. This sinking actually killed more people than the BP Deepwater disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
While in tow from Russia, the rig hit a storm and sank within 20 minutes. While not drilling when it sank, the incident was certainly a setback for a company with plans for more Arctic drilling.
2. Vladimir Putin is encouraging Exxon and Rosneft to start their new partnership off with a bang and head for the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.If any company knows how to one up BP on oil spills, its Rosneft.
Broadcasting straight from a drilling rig, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his enthusiasm for the Exxon/Rosneft joint venture, and suggested they set their sights on the Gulf of Mexico.
1. Rosneft is so big, bad and evil that the band Pussy Riot chose them as the target of their first video after being released from prison.
The group said the goal of their latest video was to highlight the corrupt relationship of the Russian government, particularly President Putin, and energy companies. The band members were previously sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism.” On the other side of the Arctic in Alaska, President Obama is considering opening up the area for oil drilling by launching a new round of lease sales for the Chukchi Sea… ” By Cassady Sharp: Cassady is a media officer at Greenpeace USA covering the Arctic, climate change and corporate influence over politics. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/the-environmentalist-6-facts-about-oil-companies-arctic-drilling-plans-that-will-leave-you-thinking-wtf/ (Emphasis our own)
On April 16, 2012, Rosneft announced that it and ExxonMobil had “signed agreements to implement a long-term Strategic Cooperation Agreement concluded in August 2011 to jointly explore for and develop oil and natural gas in Russia and to share technology and expertise. The agreements were signed by Rosneft President Eduard Khudaynatov, Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation,” [etc….] “in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.” The agreements were for joint ventures for exploration of the Kara and Black Seas. Neftegaz Holding America Limited is “an independent indirect subsidiary of Rosneft registered in Delaware“. It “concluded separate agreements on the acquisition of a 30 percent equity in ExxonMobil’s share in the La Escalera Ranch project in the Delaware Basin in West Texas in the United States.” It “will also be given the right to acquire a 30 percent interest in 20 blocks held by ExxonMobil in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, one of the most oil and gas rich basins in the world. The ExxonMobil blocks are located in prospective areas of the Western part of the Gulf.” Another independent Rosneft subsidiary has gotten 30% of the ExxonMobil’s Harmattan acreage in Alberta, Canada.
According to the Press Release: “Rex Tillerson said the agreements are a critical step forward in strategic cooperation. “These agreements are important milestones in this strategic relationship,” said Tillerson… Eduard Khudaynatov and Rex Tillerson said they were encouraged to proceed with these projects by the Russian government’s efforts to reform taxation of the high-potential oil industry sectors and improve investment conditions for foreign and Russian oil companies.” It notes that exploration started in the Tuapse license Block of the Black Sea in Sept. of 2011. Exploration has started in the Kara Sea (East Prinovozemelsky). They have also signed an agreement to develop fracking technologies (“tight oil” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tight_oil tech ) for Western Siberia. Read the press release here: https://web-beta.archive.org/web/*/https://www.rosneft.com/press/releases/item/114473/
According to the US EIA: “Russia was the world’s largest producer of crude oil (including lease condensate) and the world’s second-largest producer of dry natural gas in 2013. In 2013, production of crude oil and lease condensate grew by 1.3%, and production of dry natural gas grew by 2.1%. Most of Russia’s crude oil and natural gas production occurs in West Siberia, a part of central Russia that stretches from the northern border of Kazakhstan to the Arctic Ocean. However, new technologies, growing Asian markets, and Western sanctions have the potential to shift the regional balance of Russian oil and natural gas production in the long term.
In 2013, production of oil and natural gas in West Siberia totaled 6.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and 21.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, respectively, down from peak production levels in the 1980s. Russian energy companies Rosneft and Gazprom Neft have increased the efficiency of older fields in West Siberia by implementing technologies like multiple leg horizontal drilling and multistage hydrofracking; however, further increasing West Siberian production will require substantial investment. Consequently, Russia is considering developing its significant but less-accessible reserves in previously undeveloped regions.
Offshore production. Russia recently began offshore oil production in the Arctic for the first time. Gazprom Neft began commercial operations at its Prirazlomnoye rig in the Pechora Sea in December 2013, and ExxonMobil-Rosneft began exploratory drilling at the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea in August 2014. According to Gazprom Neft and ExxonMobil-Rosneft, the two formations are estimated to hold 600 million and 9 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, respectively.
Sanctions. U.S. and European Union (EU) sanctions (implemented prior to September following Russia’s involvement in the separation of Crimea from the control of Ukraine, and its subsequent involvement in support of separatist activities in parts of Eastern Ukraine) restrict Russia’s access to foreign technology and capital, and prevent Russian energy companies from entering into joint projects with foreign energy companies. These sanctions are likely to have a noticeable impact on Russia’s longer-term development of its significant shale and Arctic resources, as well as on existing projects that need substantial investment, such as the Vankor field. More recently, additional U.S. and EU sanctions have been applied, raising the possibility of larger and earlier impacts on development and production in Russia’s energy sector“. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=18051
Link – http://youtu.be/zkD4ywimVFg
“Rosneft already spills hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil on land every year — more than any other company in the world,” said Ferguson. “Now western oil companies are partnering with Rosneft on the Arctic shelf to take advantage of loose regulations and lax safety standards, and to avoid accountability for the environmental damage they cause.”
The Arctic Sunrise is in the Russian Arctic to expose and confront Russian oil companies like Rosneft and their Western partners like Exxon Mobil, Statoil and BP, who are preparing to drill in the region. Greenpeace is campaigning for a ban on offshore drilling in the Arctic, and for the uninhabited area around the North Pole to be declared a global sanctuary. Over the coming weeks, Greenpeace and millions of supporters will be challenging Rosneft and other companies at sea, on land, and online.” Read more here: “Preview: Greenpeace confronts oil exploration vessel in Russian Arctic“. http://www.greenpeace.org/finland/en/media/Press-releases/Greenpeace-ship-confronts-oil-exploration-vessel-in-the-Russian-Arctic/
“BP’s risky Rosneft relationship: ‘We work in countries with ups and downs’”