Tag Archives: Oil

26 August 2014

Security Council concerned about illicit oil trade as revenue for terrorists in Syria and Iraq

Voicing grave concern over the reported access to and seizure of oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Jabhat Al-Nusra, the Security Council underscored that there should be no trade in oil with these terrorist groups. (more…)

Source: UN News Centre | Security Council concerned about illicit oil trade as revenue for terrorists in Iraq, Syria
Source: UN Security Council | SC/11495 | 7226th Meeting (AM) | Security Council Voices Grave Concern over Reported Seizure of Oilfields by Terrorist Groups Operating in Syria, Iraq | 28 July 2014

24 June 2014

US denies agreement permitting Sri Lanka to import Iranian crude oil through third parties

On 21 June, the United States denied the existence of any agreement with Sri Lanka that allows Sri Lanka’s oil refinery near Colombo to import crude oil from Iran via third parties, avoiding sanctions intended to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. According to Keheliya Rambukwella, Sri Lanka’s Media Minister and government spokesman, Sri Lanka has been importing Iranian oil from several countries, including Malaysia, through third parties, with the understanding of the US. (more…)

Source: Reuters | U.S denies any agreement allowing Sri Lanka to import Iran crude via third parties
Source: Reuters | RPT-Sri Lanka imports Iran crude via 3rd parties, avoids sanctions

20 February 2014

Ecuador negotiated oil deal with Chinese bank in spite of commitment to protect Yasuni national park

The Guardian reports that Ecuador pursued a secret 1 billion US dollar deal with a Chinese bank to extract oil from under the Yasuni national park in the Amazon, while at the same time committing to a high-profile project to keep the ITT oil in the ground in exchange for international donations. The government of Ecuador abandoned the Yasuni-ITT Initiative last year, but according to a former ambassador of the initiative, Atossa Soltani, from NGO Amazon Watch, the negotiations with China raise doubts about whether Ecuador was ever truly committed to the plan to protect the Amazon.

An Ecuadorian government document, titled China Development Bank Credit Proposal, clarifies that the oil fields are meant to be explored by two state-run Chinese firms. Ecuador’s president Correa stated that Ecuador abandoned the Yasuni-ITT initiative due to a lack of donations – over 2 million US dollar in the government trust and slightly less than 10 million US dollar in a trust established and administered by the UN Development Programme, in spite of a final target of 3.6 billion US dollar. Others blame Ecuador’s relationship with China and pressure from the country’s oil sector, in which Chinese companies have a near monopoly.

Source: The Guardian | Ecuador pursued China oil deal while pledging to protect Yasuni, papers show

20 January 2014

Protecting the Arctic area – a responsibility of many?

On 16 December 2013, the fourth SHARES Debate entitled Protecting the Arctic area – a responsibility of the Netherlands? was held in Amsterdam. The panel consisted of three speakers: Louwrens Hacquebord, René Lefeber, and Daniel Simons. André Nollkaemper acted as moderator. This blog post highlights the main parts of the debate.

Background – changes and threats

Through the melting of the ice of the Arctic, as a consequence of global warming, new economic opportunities for states and businesses arise. Areas that until recently were covered in ice are now opening up, creating, for example, permanent navigational routes between Asia and Europe, and enabling the exploitation of oil and gas resources that had been previously located in inaccessible areas. The Netherlands, as well as companies incorporated in the Netherlands, are among the many actors that want to capitalise on these new opportunities. The increase of economic activities can pose significant risks to the fragile ecosystem of the Arctic. This raises a fundamental question: who is responsible for the management, use and protection of the Arctic area? In this complex situation, question arise over the role and responsibility of the Netherlands and other actors, including Dutch companies such as Van Oord, Boskalis and Shell. (more…)