It's all about oil!
Cases Involving Oil and Gas Corporations
In Afghanistan, members of the Feminist Majority are protesting
UNOCAL because of its plan to build a pipeline through Taliban-controlled
Afghanistan. Since the Taliban regime took control of Kabul Afghanistan,
a series of repressive measures against girls and women have been
instituted. UNOCAL is a majority stakeholder in a consortium that
hopes to construct a gas and oil pipeline from Turkmenistan through
Afghanistan to Pakistan.
Bolivia Pipeline: On February 1, 2000, around 29,000 barrels
of refined crude oil and mixed gasoline spilled into the Desaguadero
River in the Southwestern region of Bolivia. The cause: a flash
flood that broke the Sica Sica-Arica pipeline that goes from Bolivia
to Chile, from where the oil is shipped to the United States. Transredes,
the operator of the pipeline controlled by Royal Dutch/Shell Group
and Enron Development Corp., was accused of negligence -by some
local groups- for turning the pump off more than 20 hours after
the accident occurred and for not taking adequate preventive measures,
in the first place.
Colombia Oil Export: The Andes mountains in Colombia have
become the newest oil hot spot with several international companies
drilling in the region. The Marxist guerrillas repeatedly interrupt
production through the use of terrorist tactics including bombings
and kidnappings. Environmental groups challenge Colombian laws regarding
environmental degradation due to the methods of oil exploration
and extraction primarily caused by foreign corporations.
Ecuador Oil Exports: Ecuador produces more oil than it needs
for domestic consumption and thus it is one of the country's leading
exports. Beneath the surface in eastern Ecuador and within the Amazon
rain forest, a relatively undisturbed and biologically rich area,
are large amounts of oil. Critics warn that the habitat could suffer
either through the direct spilling of product and soil contamination
or through the opening of the area to the outside through the building
of roads. It is believed that the building of an oil industry would
have a severely adverse impact on the environment. Some argue against
drilling for oil in Ecuador's Amazon area, particularly since the
oil is intended for trade.
Iran to India Gas Pipeline: In 1995, Pakistan and Iran signed
a preliminary agreement for construction of a natural gas pipeline
linking the Iranian South Pars natural gas field in the Persian
Gulf with Karachi, Pakistan's main industrial port located at the
Arabian Sea. Iran later proposed an extension of the pipeline from
Pakistan into India. These negotiations indicate a significant shift
in inter and intra-regional politics between the states. The potential
for economic and developmental gain from natural gas will force
India, Iran, and Pakistan to reassess their roles and policies in
regional conflicts, like Kashmir, Afghanistan, and national security
Khazakstan Oil: The area around Azerbaijan, on the southwestern
shores of the Caspian Sea, is not the only portion of the region
to have oil reserves. One of the world's largest oil fields, the
Tengiz in western Kazakhstan, was discovered in 1979. The Tengiz
discovery dramatically altered oil exploration potential for the
region as a whole. The intricate political climate in the region
is the factor which will ultimately determine how oil can be delivered
to world markets. Kazakhstan is in the best position to profit from
the oil reserves.
Nigeria (Ogoni) and Oil: Shell Oil controls approximately
60 percent of the domestic oil market in Nigeria. Shell operates
many of its oil facilities in the oil-rich Delta region of Nigeria.
The Ogonis, an ethnic group that predominate in the Delta region,
have protested that Shell's oil production has not only devastated
the local environment, but has destroyed the economic viability
of the region for local farmers and producers.
Venezuela Gas Dispute: The Venezuelan government accused
the United States of discriminating against its products when the
Congress passed a bill requiring that Petr¢leos de Venezuela,
S.A. (PdVSA) oil exports meet U.S. pollution control standards.
According to the U.S. law, Venezuelan oil must be reformulated to
reduce car pollution, just like domestic oil. The Clean Air Act
of 1990 mandates that oil refiners reduce the levels of the smog-causing
olefins by 1995, but allows a three year grace period for domestic