Archive for the BP oil spill Category

Media, public lash out at ConocoPhillips despite its ‘crisis management’ [Xinhua]

Posted in BP oil spill, China, Corruption, Energy, Environmental protection, Law enforcement, Liaoning Province on September 17, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) — So-called “crisis management” skills that ConocoPhillips China has used after recent oil spills in north China’s Bohai Sea do not help the company, and it may unintentionally harm itself by resorting to such tactics, said a People’s Daily article published Monday.

“China’s maritime authority finally stopped ConocoPhillips China’s oil field operations after ongoing delays, negligence, cover-ups and cheating (by the company),” said the article in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

ConocoPhillips China (COPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Houston-headquartered oil giant ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), has complied with a suspension order, said a statement on the company’s website.

The suspension order issued by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) came last Friday after COPC failed to meet the SOA’s order to find potential oil spill sources and seal existing oil leaks before Aug. 31.

As the operator of the leaking Penglai 19-3 oil field in the Bohai Bay, COPC has been blamed for oil leaks on June 4 and June 17 that resulted in approximately 700 barrels of oil escaping into the Bay and 2,500 barrels of mineral oil-based drilling mud flowing onto the seabed.

On Aug. 31 the company submitted a report to the SOA claiming that all the oil spills had been cleaned up.

Public condemnation of COPC’s poor handling of the crisis strengthened after a China Central Television (CCTV) report revealed on Friday that, during a conversation between a CCTV reporter and an anonymous COPC employee, someone told the reporter via the ship’s intercom system that the company intentionally set out to deceive Chinese authorities when it announced that it had met the SOA’s requirements.

The company denied that its employee made the remarks and demanded a correction from CCTV, saying anyone in that sea area could make comments or interrupt any conversations on that wireless intercom channel that is open to the public.

“There is a sharp contrast between the company’s sensitivity regarding its image and its inadvertence towards China’s oceanic environment,” said the article.

The article stated that, using modern detection analysis techniques, it would be easy to judge whether the voice from the intercom belongs to a company employee, but “isn’t it too serious for the company to fuss about such details, instead of addressing the problem that has lasted for three months?”

However, COPC used its crisis management skills quite well [sic]: it covered up the incident for as long as possible, it lied in July by saying that the spills had been “basically cleaned up,” and, on the day of the clean-up deadline, it claimed that all leaks had been “completely blocked,” the newspaper said.

After the lie was exposed, COPC said that the delay was caused by “unsound weather conditions,” it said.

According to the SOA investigation, the oil spill was an “inferior mistake” [sic] caused by substandard operations.

The oil spills have spread to beaches in Hebei and Liaoning provinces. The spills have also been blamed for losses in the provinces’ tourism and aquatic farming industries.

“In the face of spreading oceanic pollution and fishermen’s losses, it is both a legal and just requirement for the company to shoulder responsibility, regardless of its wealth value and crisis management skills,” it said.

According to the company’s website, ConocoPhillips holds a 49 percent interest in the Penglai 19-3 field which represents approximately 3 percent of the company’s total annual production.

The integrated energy company had about 29,900 employees, 160 billion U.S. dollars of assets, and 244 billion U.S. dollars of annualized revenues as of June 30, according to the website.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), which has a 51 percent stake of the Penglai 19-3 oilfield but is not the operator, said late Saturday it will enhance supervision and assistance to COPC in handling the oil spills to make sure that it fully implements maritime authority’s requirements, despite that the suspension will further reduce CNOOC’s net production by about 40,000 barrels per day.

China’s online community has condemned COPC for its negligence. Internet users have suggested that authorities take into consideration the amount of compensation BP must pay for last year’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when fining COPC.

By Aug. 23, BP had paid out more than 5 billion U.S. dollars to victims of last year’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to the fund administrator. The payouts amount to roughly 25 percent of the 20 billion U.S. dollar fund, known as the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, set up following the April 2010 spill.

He Yu’ang, a blogger at, said the way COPC had acted was due to China’s inadequate maritime laws and regulations, and the amount the company could be fined was too small so it chose to neglect the country’s oceanic environment.

It is high time for the country to change the situation of “high cost of law-abiding but low cost of law violations,” said Fan Zhengwei, a commentator with the People’s Daily.

Yang Hua, CNOOC’s general manager, said the company is drafting a plan to establish a maritime eco-fund.

Article link:


Public discontent grows against ConocoPhillips over lingering oil spills [Xinhua]

Posted in BP oil spill, China, Deepwater Horizon, Energy, Environmental protection, Law enforcement, Liaoning Province on September 17, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — ConocoPhillips China (COPC) is facing the wrath of the Chinese public after deceptively announcing that it had cleaned up oil spills in north China’s Bohai Bay.

China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said on Friday in a statement that COPC failed to meet the SOA’s requirements for finding potential sources for oil spills and sealing previous oil leaks before an Aug. 31 deadline.

However, the company on Wednesday submitted a report to the SOA claiming that the two goals had been met.

Photos of polluted seawater and disgruntled fishermen have been widely posted on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging website, arousing the public’s concern about possible economic and environmental losses resulting from the spills.

Public condemnation even grew stronger after a China Central Television (CCTV) report revealed on Friday that during a conversation between a CCTV reporter and an anonymous COPC employee, someone said through the ship intercom system to the reporter that the company intentionally set out to deceive Chinese authorities when it announced that it had met the SOA’s requirements.

The company denied that its employee made the remarks and demanded a correction from CCTV, saying anyone in that sea area could make comments or interrupt any conversations on that wireless intercom channel that is open to the public. However, the company’s claims have been met with doubt by the Chinese public.

“Their explanation does not even deserve a comment. I just want to say that ConocoPhillips needs to show more sincerity if the company truly wants to restore its image,” wrote a microblogger using the screenname “student xiaolu.”

The SOA has ordered COPC to cease production on its platforms in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield, which is jointly owned by COPC and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), China’s largest offshore oil and gas producer.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Beijing-based NGO, said that the SOA made the “right decision” in ordering COPC to halt production at the oilfield, as it will take some time for the SOA to take legal action against COPC.

Ma also called on the CNOOC to play a bigger role in the clean-up efforts at the oilfield, as it has a 51-percent stake in the field.

The CNOOC vowed on Saturday that it will enhance its supervision of and assistance to COPC in handling the oil spills in order to ensure that COPC fully meets the SOA’s requirements.

A Sunday editorial published in the Beijing News stated that it was “astonishing” to see such a well-known multinational corporation lying to its customers and business partners, adding that there are “deep-rooted systematic issues at work behind the scenes.”

Government departments should work together to establish an effective response system to solve similar problems in the future, instead of forcing the SOA to act alone, the editorial said.

Wu Danhong, an associate professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, said China should take cues from the actions taken last year by the U.S. against British oil giant British Petroleum (BP).

In April 2010, an offshore drilling rig owned by the company exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, triggering the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The U.S. government responded by hitting the company with a 20-billion-U.S.-dollar fine.

COPC, a subsidiary of U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips, first reported the spills in Bohai Bay to authorities in June. Oil from the spills has spread to beaches in the nearby provinces of Hebei and Liaoning. The spills have been blamed for losses in the provinces’ tourism and aquatic farming industries.

Article link:

The burying of the Financial Crisis Inquiry report [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, BP oil spill, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Fraud, Media cover-up, Obama, USA, Wall Street on February 11, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Andre Damon
7 February 2011

Late last month, the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued the first official report on the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown.

The report is devastating.  The commission interviewed over 700 witnesses, held 19 days of public hearings, and investigated millions of documents.  Based on this research, it gives a fairly accurate picture of the fraud and criminality that led to the greatest financial catastrophe since the Great Depression.

The report implicates corporate executives, regulators, and politicians in the conversion of the US economy into a Wall Street casino.  It ties the unethical, irresponsible, and often blatantly illegal practices of the financiers to the impoverishment and suffering of millions.

As significant as its contents, however, is the speed with which the report has been buried by the media and political establishment. Within hours, articles on it were dropped from the front pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal web sites.  Printed stories were relegated to inside pages.  The Financial Times, which focuses its coverage on global economic news and developments, did not put the findings on its printed front page on either the release day or the day after.

As for the Obama administration, the report was conveniently released the day after the State of the Union address.  While the president no doubt had advance word of its findings, he made no mention of its imminent release.  Indeed, none of the report’s themes, from the dramatic increase of the weight of the financial system in the US economy, to the breakdown of regulation and corporate accountability, made their way into his speech.

The commissioners—including six Democrats and four Republicans, chaired by former California Treasurer Phil Angelides—sought to downplay the conclusions contained in their report.  At the press conference held to announce their findings, the commissioners used more equivocal language than that of the findings, with one noting that responsibility for the crisis “stretched from the living room to the boardroom,” meaning that the American population shared equal responsibility with the banks for the financial crisis.  When asked by multiple reporters whether their report unveiled criminality, the commissioners refused to answer.

Regardless of the intentions of the authors, however, the act of systematically detailing the causes of the financial crisis constitutes a telling indictment of the banks, politicians, and regulators.  This was no doubt sensed by the commissioners, four of whom supported dissenting versions of the report that sought to undermine the connection between deregulation, the loosening of lending standards, and the ensuing financial collapse.

Commentary that trickled into the editorial pages of major newspapers over several days largely disregarded the report’s devastating conclusions, either focusing on tangential issues or openly denouncing the committee’s methods.

The report implicates nearly everyone holding a responsible position in the finance sector.  It clearly demonstrates that the heads of banks and security rating firms took part in a conspiracy to create the financial bubble of 2005-2007—often for direct personal enrichment. This was facilitated by the transformation of politicians into little more than cheerleaders for the financial bubble and regulators into the impotent facilitators of bank fraud.

As the report points out, “From 1999 to 2008, the financial sector expended $2.7 billion in reported federal lobbying expenses; individuals and political action committees in the sector made more than $1 billion in campaign contributions.”  This inflow of bank cash to campaign coffers deprived regulators of “the necessary strength and independence of oversight necessary to safeguard financial stability.”

With the ensuing deregulation, and fueled by the cheap cash provided by the central banks, financial firms turned to a spree of speculation, primarily in the housing market, which the commission claimed “lit and spread the flame of contagion and crisis.”

“Lenders made loans that they knew borrowers could not afford and that could cause massive losses to investors in mortgage securities,” it concluded, adding that in 2004, four years before the collapse, executives at Countrywide Financial, a key originator of bad mortgages, “recognized that many of the loans they were originating could result in ‘catastrophic consequences’.”

The commission concluded that Countrywide and other lenders “knew a significant percentage of … loans did not meet their own underwriting standards or those of the originators.  Nonetheless, they sold those securities to investors.”

The fraudulent loans made by lenders were then bought and repacked in the form of collateralized debt obligations.  These securities were nothing more than collections of bad mortgages that were reshuffled and resold in such a way that the majority of the ensuing securities got the highest possible credit rating.

The major investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, charged a hefty fee for repackaging bad mortgages.  However, they made even more through leveraged speculation on the mortgage-backed securities that they and other banks had issued.

The report points out that, “As of 2007, the five major investment banks—Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley had leverage ratios as high as 40 to 1, meaning for every $40 in assets, there was only $1 in capital to cover losses.”

This meant that, as long as housing values kept rising and defaults were kept low, the banks would continue to accrue immensely inflated profits.  But the moment there was a drop in the housing market and foreclosures rose, the results would be catastrophic.  As the report noted, “Less than a 3% drop in asset values could wipe out a firm.”

The corporate mechanism that was supposed to stop this speculative cycle, the financial ratings agencies, “abysmally failed.” The report notes that in 2006, Moody’s, the credit rating agency, gave its highest rating to 30 mortgage-related securities every weekday.  “The results were disastrous,” concludes the report. “83% of the mortgage securities rated triple-A that year ultimately were downgraded.”

Regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Thrift Supervision, failed to take any action to contain the pervasive fraud that was creeping into the financial system. “The Federal Reserve,” the commissioners write, “failed to meet its statutory obligation to establish and maintain prudent mortgage lending standards.”

This resulted in the “rising incidence of mortgage fraud, which flourished in an environment of collapsing lending standards and lax regulation.”

Continue reading

BP gets a slap on the wrist – Commission report on Gulf disaster [Workers World]

Posted in BP oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, Obama, USA on January 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Gene Clancy
Published Jan 17, 2011 10:12 PM

On Jan. 6, a presidential commission released excerpts of a report on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This was good news for BP and one of its subcontractors, Transocean: The prices for their shares rose as investors bet that the report meant that the firms would avoid the massive costs of a gross negligence charge. (Reuters, Jan. 6)

It was bad news for working and poor people who are employed and/or live in the Gulf region, and for all who are concerned about the environment.

On April 20, an explosion aboard BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 men and injured 17 others. Attempts to staunch the gusher failed, until a cap was finally deployed over the undersea well on July 15. By that time, 4.4 million barrels of oil had spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spill, which now ranks as the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, destroyed huge areas of sensitive wildlife and habitat, and paralyzed important segments of the Gulf Coast’s economy, including the seafood industry and tourism. The area still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

The report’s 48-page excerpt says that “poor decisions” by BP; Transocean Ltd., the rig’s owner; and Halliburton Corp., a contractor on the rig, led to technical problems that contributed to the disaster. It stated that individual decisions made by each of those parties, while saving significant time and money, upped the risk that a catastrophic blowout would occur. (AP, Jan 6)

The report also warned that such a disaster could happen again, due to systemic problems within the offshore oil and gas industry, and among government regulators who oversee it.

Shortly after the catastrophe, President Barack Obama promised to hold BP completely accountable for all damages arising from the spill. He declared a six-month moratorium on deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico until the reasons for the spill were investigated and determined. He appointed the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, which was to come up with its findings by Jan. 11. Unsurprisingly, the moratorium, although considered very short by environmental experts, was quickly aborted as the administration backed down in response to angry rants from the oil industry.

The Oil Pollution Act was passed, and a $20 billion fund was set up to compensate victims of the corporate-made disaster. Although $20 billion may appear large, it is a drop in the bucket when it comes to paying for the actual damages. On Jan. 9, Louisiana officials reported that large sections of the state’s coastline are still “highly oiled.” (CNN, Jan. 9) Huge plumes of oil remain far below the surface, while entire industries have been abandoned.

The government and BP have moved to limit big business liability in two ways. First, in direct violation of the Oil Pollution Act, the rules under which compensation is being paid greatly limit the amount that can be collected. “It will be difficult, if not impossible for claimants to get full compensation for their damages unless they have a crystal ball,” says Richard Shore, who worked hard to collect damages from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. (Huffington Post, Aug. 3)

The second method is more devious, and involves the recently released commission report. The study rightly concludes that BP’s misdeeds are not limited to them alone: “The blowout was not the product of a series of aberrational decisions made by a rogue industry or government officials that could not have been anticipated or expected to occur again. Rather, the root causes are systemic.” (AP, Jan.6)

However, the oil drillers are confident that they will never be held truly accountable as an industry . By blaming the oil drilling industry, the government has effectively taken the heat off BP, which the capitalist markets immediately recognized. Thus, the rise in BP stock.

The capitalist class is confident that their ruse to protect BP and other big polluters will work because they believe that they are invincible and that the government will never hold them accountable for their countless crimes against humanity and the planet itself. They can keep on raking in megaprofits and putting safety and concern for the environment last, with relative impunity, unless there is a struggle waged by working people, environmentalists and other progressive people to push them back.

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link:

WikiLeaks cables: BP suffered blowout on Azerbaijan gas platform [Guardian]

Posted in BP oil spill, Deepwater Horizon, State Department, USA, Wikileaks on December 27, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ Embassy cables reveal energy firm ‘fortunate’ to have evacuated workers safely after blast similar to Deepwater Horizon disaster ~

by Tim Webb

16 December 2010

Striking resemblances between BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables.

The cables reveal that some of BP’s partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months.

Other cables leaked tonight claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using “mild blackmail” to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region…

…On the Azerbaijan gas leak, a cable reports for the first time that BP suffered a blowout in September 2008, as it did in the Gulf with devastating consequences in April, as well as the gas leak that the firm acknowledged at the time.

“Due to the blowout of a gas-injection well there was ‘a lot of mud’ on the platform, which BP would analyze to help find the cause of the blowout and gas leak,” the cable said.

Written a few weeks after the incident, the cable said Bill Schrader, BP’s then head of Azerbaijan, admitted it was possible the company “would never know” the cause although it “is continuing to methodically investigate possible theories”.

According to another cable, in January 2009 BP thought that a “bad cement job” was to blame for the gas leak in Azerbaijan. More recently, BP’s former chief executive Tony Hayward also partly blamed a “bad cement job” by contractor Halliburton for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The blowout in the Gulf led to the deaths of 11 workers and the biggest accidental offshore oil spill in history.

BP was also criticised for not initially sharing all its information with the US authorities about the scale of the Gulf spill. The gas field in the Caspian Sea was in production when the leak and blow out occured, unlike the well in the Gulf which was being drilled to explore for oil.

BP declined to answer questions put by the Guardian about the cause of the Azerbaijan gas leak and who carried out the cement job, pointing to a general statement it had made about the cables.

The cable reveals that the company had a narrow escape. “Given the explosive potential, BP was quite fortunate to have been able to evacuate everyone safely and to prevent any gas ignition. Schrader said although the story hadn’t caught the press’s attention, it had the full focus of the [government of Azerbaijan], which was losing ‘$40-50m each day’.”

The leak happened at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshi (ACG) field, Azerbaijan’s largest producing oil field in the Caspian where vast undeveloped gas reserves also lie . BP is the operator and largest shareholder in the consortium, which includes US companies Chevron, ExxonMobil and Hess (formerly Amerada Hess), as well as Norwegian firm Statoil and Azerbaijani state owned oil company Socar.

BP comes in for criticism for allegedly limiting the information it made available about the incident. Another cable records shortly after the incident: “ACG operator BP has been exceptionally circumspect in disseminating information about the ACG gas leak, both to the public and to its ACG partners. However, after talking with BP and other sources, the embassy has pieced together the following picture.” It goes on to say the incident took place when bubbles appeared in the waters around the Central Azeri platform, signalling a nearby gas leak. “Shortly thereafter, a related gas-reinjection well for Central Azeri had a blowout, expelling water, mud and gas.” BP’s annual report last year referred to a “comprehensive review of the subsurface gas release” having taken place and remedial work being carried out.

The cable continues: “At least some of BP’s ACG partners are similarly upset with BP’s performance in this episode, as they claim BP has sought to limit information flow about this event even to its ACG partners. Although it is too early to ascertain the cause, if in fact this production shutdown was due to BP technical error, and if it continues for months (as seems possible), BP’s reputation in Azerbaijan will take a serious hit.”

BP is in charge of Azerbaijan’s key energy projects, and has a significant influence across the region. In late 2006 discussions were taking place about when Turkey would be able to link up its own network to a new pipeline operated by BP transporting gas across the Caucasus from BP’s giant new Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan. The new pipeline was seen as crucial as reducing the region’s dependence on unreliable gas supplies from Russia, particularly amidst rising gas prices.

According to one cable, BP’s outgoing Azerbaijan president, David Woodward, said in November 2006 that BP thought it unlikely that Turkey would be able to complete its work before spring 2007. “However, he added that ‘it was not inconceivable’ that Botas [Turkey’s state pipeline company] could ‘rush finish’ the job so that it would be ready to receive gas shortly, although the pipeline would not meet international standards,” the cable said. In the end, BP said Turkey began receiving gas from Shah Deniz in July 2007.

The cables also reveal BP concerns on the lack of security at the time around its oil and gas installations, particularly in the Caspian Sea, which it believed made them vulnerable to terrorist attack. One cable from July 2007 records: “BP Azerbaijan president Bill Schrader has told US officials in private conversations, ‘all it would take is one guy with a mortar or six guys in a boat’ to wreak havoc in Azerbaijan’s critical energy infrastructure.”

BP officials also complained about a shortage of Navy and Coast Guard boats – mostly Soviet era and built in the 1960s and 1970s – to patrol the waters around the platforms. It was also not clear which government agency or branch of the military was in charge, meaning a “response to a crisis offshore could be problematic” , one cable in August 2008 recorded…

[Edited by Zuo Shou 左手]

Article link:

November 2 Elections: Midterm Day of Reckoning; “Let the landslide begin” []

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, BP oil spill, George W. Bush, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Obama, Torture, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on November 2, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Mike Whitney

November 1, 2010

Barack Obama rode into office in January, 2008 on a wave of optimism.  By the time the ballots are counted in Tuesday’s midterm elections, Obama’s personal approval ratings will have fallen to historic lows and he will be universally recognized as the man who brought ruin on the Democratic party.

While still popular among party loyalists, the president has become radioactive among independents–the critical group of “swing voters” who have fled Camp Obama en masse frustrated with both the lack of audacity and/or change.  No one figured they were electing George W. Bush to a third term in office when they cast their vote for the inspiring senator from Illinois two years ago.  But that’s what they got.  To say that supporters are disappointed in Obama’s performance, is a gross understatement of the pessimism that’s spread like Kudzu among the party faithful.  People have become increasingly cynical as they realize that neither party provides a path to real structural change.  The system is broken; Obama has merely exposed the rot at the heart of American democracy.

In truth, it’s not all Obama’s fault.  He was picked by elites who thought they could ride his lofty-sounding rhetoric all the way to the White House.  And they did, too, but that’s when things began to unravel, as one campaign promise after the other was tossed aside like yesterday’s coffee grounds.  Obama even backpedaled on issues that would have cost him very little in terms of political capital—like gays in the military or allowing California’s liberalizing of marijuana laws go unchallenged.  Issues that could have rekindled the support of his dejected liberal base.  But, no.  Obama chose to conduct business the same way as his predecessor, Bush.  The only difference was style…


Continue reading

BP: The Unfinished Crimes and Plunder of Anglo-American Imperialism – Scandal sheet of UK/US violations of Iran up to 1979 []

Posted in Africa, Anti-communism, Anti-fascism, BP oil spill, China, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DPR Korea, Fascism, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Korean War, Lenin, Nazism, Sino-Korean Friendship, south Korea, State Department, Torture, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam, World War II on September 29, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Running down the list of criminal Anglo-American “heroes” and their accomplices in the odious historical exploitation of Iran’s resources and perpetration of the CIA’s  infamous and bloody Operation Ajax:  William D’Arcy, Winston Churchill, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Dwight Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, General Fazlollah Zahedi, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.;

countered with the opposition, however limited, of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadeq on behalf of the Iranian people. –  Zuo Shou / 左手

Iranian Prime Minister Mossadeq on issuing the nationalization decree of AIOC (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) in the ’50s:

“We are nationalizing the AIOC because it has systematically over several decades refused to engage in a constructive dialogue with us. Working hand in glove with the British government it has trampled on our national rights.  Their conduct was one of unspeakable arrogance.  Our battle for the end of the company’s domination has finally arrived and we shall triumph.  It is a war against a beast that has corrupted officials at every level of the government.  It has pillaged our ancient nation over decades.  It has reduced us to poverty and humiliation.  Above all, ours is a struggle for the conquest of our political freedom…”

September 20, 2010

by Frederic Clairmont

In the light of British Petroleum’s grotesque crime, as yet unfinished, against humanity in the Gulf of Mexico, it is well to recall briefly BP’s no less hideous crime perpetrated in its earlier incarnation as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) and, later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).

At the turn of the 20th century, William D’Arcy, financial tycoon and politician, pursuing the advice of his financial associate and empire builder Cecil Rhodes, frantically began his quest for oil in the Persian Gulf.  Little did they realize that one of the most dazzling El Dorados in the long and tortured history of British imperialism would soon be born. Geopolitically it would have reverberations well beyond the Persian Gulf region.  It was one of the most decisive steps in the march of imperial globalization, accelerating the concentration of capital and the imperialist rivalries that are its normal concomitant.

In 1908, D’Arcy’s quest was consummated with one of the biggest oil discoveries of all time, and APOC was established a year later. The British government would subsequently gobble up a sizeable chunk of the total shares in APOC. It was only decades later that BP was privatized by Thatcher.

In record time, Abadan in Persia became the world’s largest oil refinery. Not only did the advent of APOC herald one of the major triumphs in the struggle for global oil and the striving for ever-larger market shares, but its ascendancy blazed new horizons for a galloping imperialism in what was to become one of the world’s major strategic commodities with the onrush of the automobile age. The reverberations of the production and marketing of this commodity – earlier labelled black gold by Rockefeller – at a moment when imperialism’s first major holocaust, the Great War (1914-1918), was about to erupt revolutionized the world economy.

APOC’s ascendancy owed nothing to the free play of market forces idealized by mythmakers of economic liberalism, but to the role of Big Capital and the thrust of imperial financial power for enhanced control of world markets. Like the earlier conquests and brutal territorial annexations of Cecil Rhodes, it signallized the marriage of Big Capital and the imperial political-military complex. The pivotal actor in this compulsive planetary drive to market supremacy and control was Winston Churchill (1874-1965), soon to become First Lord of the Admiralty…

Full article continued at this link