Thursday, 31 January 2008

Shell Making Mugs Of Us All

There is nothing like the news of a company making jaw dropping profits to raise the hackles of the average Joe. Throw in the fact that it is an oil company and you can almost drown in the vitriol being spat.
Oil giant Shell was the target of today’s exasperated gasps revealing a UK record £13.9 billion profit. That works out to approximately £1.5m an hour which does prove food for thought as we pay a record high of £1 a litre for petrol.
Even the most rabid supporter of capitalism must be struggling to justify a system that sees the consumers struggling with ever rising petrol prices only to line the pockets of a company that already makes an obscene amount of money.
Maybe if Shell were to use some of its vast record profits towards paying off a bill estimated at more than £10bn for the damage caused by its oil activities, its customers may not be so ready to condemn it.
Hardly surprising it is disliked when you read that Shell continues flaring of gas in Nigeria despite being ordered to stop by a Nigerian court, treating with distain the devastation and pollution the practise brings to communities in Nigeria.
Who can feel any warmth towards a company that received a £1.5bn fine for polluting rivers with the equivalent of 13m barrels of oil over the past 5 decades, it is hard to do anything other than despise the company.
Don't be fooled by the adverts stating that Shell are investing their profits in renewable energy because as Friends of the Earth point out, investment in this market has amounted to 1 billion over the past five years while investing 15.6 billion in oil production and refining in 2005 alone.
As the advertising slogan says "You can be sure of Shell" and you can, sure that they will fleece us all blind.


iMuslim said...

The high price of petrol in the UK is more to do with the tax than anything else... in addition, petrol is not the only derivative of petroleum (here comes the Wiki quote):

* Ethane and other short-chain alkanes which are used as fuel
* Diesel fuel (petrodiesel)
* Fuel oils
* Gasoline
* Jet fuel
* Kerosene
* Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
* Natural gas

Other derivatives

* Alkenes (olefins) which can be manufactured into plastics or other compounds
* Lubricants (produces light machine oils, motor oils, and greases, adding viscosity stabilizers as required).
* Wax, used in the packaging of frozen foods, among others.
* Sulfur or Sulfuric acid. These are a useful industrial materials. Sulfuric acid is usually prepared as the acid precursor oleum, a byproduct of sulfur removal from fuels.
* Bulk tar.
* Asphalt
* Petroleum coke, used in speciality carbon products or as solid fuel.
* Paraffin wax
* Aromatic petrochemicals to be used as precursors in other chemical production.

So all that together probably accounts for the ridiculously high levels of profit.

But i agree... they should clean up their act.

Anonymous said...

They could try paying their CEO's a damn sight less as well.

Cody Bones said...

Just to take an opposite view (surprise, surprise) Shell does not set the price of oil. Oil is priced in U.S. dollars on the NYMEX. The price is traded all day long. Technically, as the dollar falls against the pound, your gas should be cheaper. The reason for your high price of oil, is not Shell, it's the extra taxes that you pay. Imuslim is absolutely correct. Were you decrying the Oil industry problems in the mid to late 90's, when Oil was $18 a barrel?

Cheezy said...

The main reason I don't like Shell is because of what went down in Nigeria in the 90s (the Ken Saro Wiwa episode) and because they routinely inflate what they call their 'proven' oil reserves.

I also don't like their tedious-as-hell commercial (the 'bendy straw' one, about how 'green' they apparently are) that used to get played before every movie I'd go to see.

Oh, and I've got a friend who is employed by Shell, and they work her like a Punjab in a Nike factory.

So, along with other companies like Coke and Macca's, Royal Dutch Shell are on the official cheezy shitlist.

Falling on a bruise said...

Average Joes were getting hackles up all day, they don't care about who gets what percentage or what damage the oil companies do to the environment, all they know is that they are paying extorionate prices for petrol and the supplier is announcing profits of £13.9b.
If people want to get angry at either the Government for taxing them to hades to back or Shell, both are OK for criticism by me.