Do or Die

An article from Do or Die Issue 7. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 66-75.

Putting a Spanner in the Oil Industry's Works

In the UK, with little wild space left, Earth First! has focused more than elsewhere on taking the fight to industrial capitalism itself. This has been done by attacking the things the industry feeds on - such as transport infrastructure, or aggregates from quarries. Now, as a movement, we are ready to go to the heart of the beast - the oil industry.

PictureImagine a world without oil. A world without pollution from pipelines, tankers, rigs, refineries and traffic. A world in which goods could not be transported around the globe more cheaply than producing them locally. A world where people and nature were not systematically abused for the sake of a commodity on which all economies depend.

1997 has seen a definite increase in action against the oil industry. Greenpeace has been campaigning against new oil developments around the world, including the Atlantic Frontier in the UK. The campaigns have all been in ecologically sensitive areas, perhaps so as to win the support of Greenpeace's traditional whale-loving constituency. However, the arguments have been about climate change, and in Greenpeace's core argument the logic is impeccable: if we fully exploit even just the oilfields already in production, the impact on climate will be devastating; therefore it makes absolutely no sense to be bringing in new fields. Their campaign has involved applying for licenses to manage the North Atlantic oilfields (which it was refused because licensing depends on how much oil the applicant wants to extract, and Greenpeace wanted none), occupying the rock of Rockall in the Atlantic, which led to the UK government relinquishing its claim to the 200 miles of territorial waters beyond it, and blockading seismic ships - as a result of which, there was no useful seismic data available to the oil companies from the Atlantic Frontier last year. PGS (the seismic company involved) is a small £2-3 million business - it lost about £1 million in 1997. Greenpeace also occupied the BP drilling platform Stena Dee for nine days, and took the government and companies to court over not carrying out environmental impact assessments on the North Atlantic developments. The case was eventually thrown out on a technicality, for not being lodged early enough.

Greenpeace are weaker on the solutions side. They have a tendency to overestimate the capabilities of solar power (indeed it is rather easy to succumb to the straightforward, unsophisticated "switch to renewables" argument). They suggest that we can support current lifestyles without any reduction in total energy consumption. They have also been criticised for giving too much praise to BP and Shell for their "efforts" to address the climate change problem. Still, Greenpeace's radical position on "no new oil" has won perhaps unprecedented support from the grassroots movement. When BP tried to freeze Greenpeace's assets, there was a strong backlash from the environmental movement generally - including Earth First!, the Green Party, Friends of the Earth and other groups, with the result that BP backed down.

In May 1997 the Crude Operators gathering in London brought together the big NGOs with Earth First!ers, human rights groups and indigenous campaigners from Nigeria, Burma, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as a number of veteran "independent" campaigners. The gathering was mainly used to share our understanding of how the industry works from various angles, and was followed by an action highlighting New Labour's regressive position and the appointment of BP's David Simon as a minister - black slimy stuff was tipped on the entrance to the Department of Trade and Industry, while "Blair's Pals" (BP) drilled for sleaze. Since then there has been a gearing up for action by lots of groups against the oil industry.

From the Earth First! gathering came the 100 Days campaign, a wide coalition of anti-oil groups focusing their efforts around the build-up to the Kyoto climate summit. Actions have included occupation of Chevron's offices in protest at their Cardigan Bay development, disruption of an oil industry/government conference, publicity for the Colombia situation at a BP Chemicals Open Day in Hull, several visits to company directors' houses, and numerous forecourt pickets and visits to company careers presentations at universities. Some more ambitious and high-profile direct actions are also in the pipeline.

The significance of the UK

Of the 90 countries in which oil and gas have been found, the UK holds only 0.4% of the oil, and 0.5% of the gas; however it is responsible for 4% of oil production and 3.1% of gas production. Meanwhile the UK consumes 2.7% of the world's oil, and 3.2% of its gas (by contrast, the US consumes 25% of world oil).1

While not having huge amounts of oil and gas in its territory, the UK's significance lies in its status as a corporate and intellectual centre for the industry, and it is for this reason that an effective attack in the UK would knock the industry. One of the three oil Futures Exchanges in the world is in London (the International Petroleum Exchange, by Tower Bridge); two of the "Seven Sisters" (the dominant Western oil companies) - BP and Shell - are based there (the other five are American - Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Chevron and Amoco); and it is in the North Sea that much of the world's technology was developed, in order to make its relatively small and complex fields economically viable. The North Sea is also important as a major source of oil and gas for the European market, as long-distance transportation is expensive. To give an idea of scale, the industry predicts capital investment of £19.7 bn on UK offshore between 1995 and 2000, one fifth of total UK industrial investment.2

There is also the "universal nimbyism" argument: UK Earth First! is unlikely by itself to stop oil production and consumption worldwide; our responsibility is to get it out of our backyard, while it is up to others to deal with theirs. There should certainly be international networking on this, to share tactics, information etc. A group came out of the Encuentro gathering in Spain in August 1997, committed to setting up an international anti-oil activist network. A three-day fringe meeting at the Geneva gathering of People's Global Action Against Free Trade in February 1998 developed this network further. Contact details are below (Action Globale).

Where does it come from?

The North Sea has been exploited for oil and gas for over 30 years. The fields fall into three main areas: the Southern (between the latitudes of north Norfolk and South Yorkshire) - all gasfields; the Central (Edin-burgh - Stornoway) - both oil and gas; and the Northern (east and northeast of the Shetland Isles) - mostly oil. The 16th licensing round in 1995 opened up the new areas of the North Atlantic west of Shetland, Cardigan Bay off Wales, and Morecambe Bay in the east Irish Sea. The 17th round in April 1997 reflected the popularity of west of Shetland by awarding 76 blocks there, plus 28 north of Shetland, and just 10 in the North Sea. Bidding for the 18th round is expected to be opened early in 1998, and is likely to put the remaining 800 North Sea blocks on offer.


Demo against BP for their use of death squads in Colombia

Proven reserves in the deep water west of Shetland comprise about 5% of total UK discoveries3, a figure which could rise to 25% with new discoveries4. With most North Sea fields reaching maturity and their margins falling, and any new finds there being generally fairly small, companies are looking for more profitable new fields. BP (as operator), in joint venture with Shell, leads development of the area: the Foinaven field came onstream in December 1997, and Schiehallion is to follow soon. Suilven was found in 1997, but is still going through appraisal. The Clair field in the area is huge, but as yet not economically exploitable. A few gas fields have been found, such as Texaco's Victory, but more will probably be needed before construction of a new pipeline can be justified.

The real significance of the Atlantic Frontier (as it is known) is its technology, the UK's great strength. With 80% of the global increase in production outside OPEC expected to be offshore, the deep sea is a very important new growth area. While much deep sea work is going on in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Atlantic has the added complication of extremely harsh weather conditions. Indeed BP's Foinaven field was originally planned to come onstream in 1995; it is because BP underestimated the difficulty of the conditions that it has been persistently delayed. (Even now, in its first month onstream alone, it has already had two spills; there are also suspicions that oil is leaking from its 'subsea manifolds' - which previously buckled due to the depth of the water and had to be replaced.) The technology lessons of the North Atlantic are now being applied to offshore West Africa and offshore Western Australia.

Where is the industry going?

The entry into the North Atlantic is part of a world-wide trend in the oil industry to move into "frontier" areas, areas which were previously untouched. This has been led by rapid development of new technology, including seismic equipment, drilling techniques, subsea facilities, floating vessels, tough ice-proof rigs etc. New fields are more profitable than "mature" fields, and companies' share prices depend on their constantly acquiring new exploitable reserves.

Downstream (in refining, marketing and chemicals), margins have recently got much tighter due to world-wide refinery over-capacity, the cheap supermarket petrol stations and the Esso Pricewatch campaign. Thus there has been much consolidation in the sector - such as BP and Mobil merging their European downstream operations, Shell buying Gulf Oil (Chevron's UK downstream company) and shared petrol stations with other facilities (such as joint ventures between Texaco and McDonald's, and BP and Safeway).

Direct action targets?

For direct action to be effective, it must be used as a communication tool as well as a "weapon" to raise costs. The latter approach will always be limited by the number of people you have got; the former is necessary to build on that. For example, the roads programme has been cut by far more than the cost incurred by obstruction, because of direct action's success at arguing the point. What swung the roads debate was a lifestyle that could inspire, excite and interest people, together with sustained campaigning which kept the issue going. We must be imaginative, to find ways of using direct action effectively, rather than just turning out on actions because we feel we ought to. Think about how and where the industry works, what it depends on, and which bits are most vulnerable.

Oil already has quite a bad public image. What is needed is an upping of the level of campaigning. The standard garage forecourt picket has got rather dull, and we've all seen it before. It has a symbolic role, as the forecourt is the interface where most people visibly come into contact with the industry. However, we must be more creative in these actions, to get away from the ritualised scenario of a small number of young activists standing with banners outside the forecourts or climbing on their roofs. Why not hold a party on a forecourt, or decorate the place - transform it into something more positive? (This was done at 'Strike Oil' in North London during the Kyoto conference). Perhaps target one of the supermarket forecourts - to communicate that it is not just Shell or BP or Chevron who are criminal, but oil generally.

There is also the problem of not having any clear useful message that can be given to the average car-driving consumer. I have got extremely frustrated with people on Shell station actions redirecting customers to the Mobil down the road, although it is difficult to know what alternative there is. One can't really tell the consumer to just stop consuming oil. The forecourt can only be one in a set of tactics. Meaningful communication with people may be easier at a town-centre stall, as this is more of a neutral space. Subvertising too is always useful (a full-size billboard appeared in Norwich on Shell's 100th birthday in October). However the fight must also be taken to the supply side.

As a movement our real strength is in defending natural sites from the encroachment of industrialism. While a community is living on such a site, it is (relatively) easy for someone else to turn up at the location and get involved, and interest can be sustained in the issue. Such defensive tactics can be used to fight expansion of oil infrastructure - for example new service stations. More importantly - although we aren't likely to get any new refineries in the foreseeable future - as Manchester Airport's second runway is built (and eventually Heathrow Terminal 5), it will almost certainly be necessary to expand the capacity of the pipelines carrying aviation fuel. In Manchester's case this will probably be from the Ellesmere Port refinery in Merseyside. Watch the local press, and other sources such as the industry news websites - details at the end of this article. Also, with the liberalisation of the European gas market, an 'Interconnector' pipeline is being constructed to connect eastern England with mainland Europe. Onshore, this will almost certainly require expansion of the Bacton gas terminal in North Norfolk.

How can we sustain a campaign on a proactive agenda? An interesting new angle has been developed in the campaign against vivisection laboratories Huntingdon Life Sciences [See "Carry on Camping", p54], combining our movement's core skill with the proactive agenda of attacking an existing facility - a camp was set up in the woods just outside the laboratories, and from this base activists talked to workers, and sometimes entered the property. Eventually HLS was forced to evict the camp, which just moved to the other side of the property. I'm not sure how long anyone could psychologically cope with living next door to a refinery, but perhaps it should be considered.


To take the campaign to the industry, we need to look at how and where it operates. The map at the end of this article will hopefully help. The UK has 93 offshore oilfields and 67 offshore gasfields in production, and respectively 21 and 5 under development5.

The only really significant onshore field in the UK is BP's Wytch Farm near Poole in Dorset, which accounts for 4.5m of the 5.1m tonnes total annual onshore production6. The majority is offshore; however these fields are obviously serviced from land. For a start, there are the seismic ships which carry out the surveys; these rest in port in the Western Isles of Scotland, and on the East coast of Scotland and England. From the websites below or an oil and gas trade journal in a university or other library (City Business Library is good - 1 Brewers' Hall Garden, London EC2, near Moorgate tube), you can find out which areas are being surveyed at a given time. Seismic work tends to occur during the summer, when the weather is favourable. It costs around £10,000 per square kilometre7. (An unusual way to disrupt these surveys would be to hack into seismic company computers and change data. How about an office occupation with cybergeeks?! As long as you could show you had visibly achieved this once or twice then, as with tree spiking, you start to cause confusion (This idea is pure fantasy and for entertainment purposes only, of course!).

However, development of a well costs £5-10m8. Probably the most cost-effective actions would be those that disrupt drilling or platform installation, especially if the work is being carried out within a time or weather window. Boats might be useful for this kind of action, but there are also things that can be done onshore - such as preventing ships from departing.

In shallow water, such as in Morecambe Bay off Lancashire, two or more connected fixed platforms will be used; in deeper water it will be a larger single fixed rig. Increasing use is also being made of "subsea tiebacks" in small and difficult fields; here, much of the production and separation equipment is installed on the seabed at the wellhead, and connected by pipelines to the existing infrastructure. In some cases, and always in deeper water, tethered floating rigs or vessels are employed, connected to the wells by flexible "risers", and oil from these is off-loaded onto tankers which carry it ashore. [This offshore transfer of oil massively increases the likelihood of spills.] Most oil, and all gas, is brought ashore by pipeline, to the terminals shown on the map below.

Rigs are usually constructed in two parts: the base structure (jacket) which stands on the seabed, and the production and accommodation facilities (topsides) which go on top. Some rigs are imported, from Scandinavia, Spain or even the Far East, but there are a number of important shipyards for building and fitting rigs in the UK, as shown on the map.

Although the UK produces more oil than it consumes, over 50% of consumption comes from imports by tanker (and the balance is exported), to bring in different grades of crude. Oil tankers account for almost half of world seaborne trade. In 1992/93, 52% of UK imports came from Norway (some of it by pipeline), and 33% from the Middle East (nearly two thirds of which is from Saudi Arabia)9. The main ports for crude oil tankers are Milford Haven in south-west Wales, Ellesmere Port in Merseyside, Sullom Voe in the Shetlands, Grangemouth in the Firth of Forth, Fawley in Southampton and the Thames Estuary in Essex. There are refineries at all of these. On top of this, most other ports in the UK receive refined petroleum products, so at almost every port you will find the characteristic storage tanks.

The UK has 13 oil refineries, which receive their crude by tanker, or by pipeline from a terminal. You can probably arrange a guided tour of a refinery, as a group of students, artists or whatever. Some products from the refinery are transported by road tanker, either direct to garages, or to the distribution depots, which can be found in all major conurbations. Other products are piped away, such as aviation fuel to airports.

When involved in actions at some of the sites above, beware that in many cases there is a complex flow process; disrupting it in the wrong way could lead to an ecological catastrophe. Make sure you know what you are doing! And don't smoke! (Sorry for being patronising).

The companies involved

Shell and BP are the most prominent companies in the UK offshore sector, operating respectively 18 oilfields and 10 gasfields, and 17 oil and 10 gas. Also important are Amerada Hess and Amoco in oil, and ARCO, Mobil and Conoco in gas10. The UK has 8,400 km of operational offshore oil and gas pipelines11. The British and foreign companies (mainly American, but also Norwegian and others) mostly have head offices in London, while their upstream operating companies are based in Aberdeen, the centre of the UK offshore industry. There are a number of upstream (ie only exploration & production) British companies, such as Enterprise, Premier, LASMO, Monument and Hardy. There is also a large service company sector, which provides 75% of services to the UK sector, and 1% world-wide. These services include geological consultancy, drilling, oilfield process consultancy, pipeline laying, support ships and catering, and also construction and manufacture of equipment, ranging from rigs to drillbits to valves to drilling muds. Some companies work specifically for the offshore oil industry, while others are more general engineering or other companies. There are well over a thousand such companies, the vast majority based in Aberdeen. Details can be obtained from business directories in libraries.

"Don't try this at home, kids!"

COLOMBIA: Less than a week into 1998, rebels dynamited the nation's main oil pipeline, forcing the suspension of pumping, according to the state-owned oil company Ecopetrol (!). Rebels blew up a portion of the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline near Arauqita, 230 miles northeast of the capital, Bogota, on January 4th. Ecopetrol said it hoped to resume pumping the following day. The National Liberation Army (ELN), the nation's second largest guerrilla band, was believed responsible. It was the first dynamite attack on the pipeline this year. Rebels sabotaged the oil duct, which normally transports 175,000 barrels of oil a day to the Caribbean coast, 65 times last year. (In total, more than 500 attacks have been recorded on the pipeline in the last decade.) The ELN often targets the oil industry, claiming foreign companies are unfairly exploiting the nation's natural resources (A.P. January 5, 1998).

Perhaps we might want to do actions against the smaller companies, as they are more vulnerable. The smaller companies are reported as having inferior safety and environmental practice, and hence are often less popular with workers than the big companies; however the cause of this is probably that while the operating companies benefit from some degree of collusion (most projects are joint ventures, for example), the auxiliary companies are forced to compete for their business, which drives down costs. If the service companies were driven out of business, it would weaken the majors somewhat, but there are philosophical problems with punishing the servant for his master's actions. The real power behind the industry is the majors, the Seven Sisters (although less so than a couple of decades ago - state-owned companies such as Petronas, Petrobras etc are becoming increasingly significant on the world stage, as well as in their own countries). Thus the service companies, though arguably in the wrong business, do not embody the most objectionable way of doing business (in that they are not in general TNCs).

Perhaps there is a role for a project along the lines of the Armaments Conversion Project, helping companies to do something more socially useful - not very EF!-ish, but probably fundable.

Building alliances

Realistically, even a highly organised guerrilla army is never going to defeat by pure force the industry which is at the centre of the global power structure; look for example at the response to Iraq rocking the boat, Iraq being a country which not only has more weapons than Earth First! but which sits on 10% of the world's oil. We just don't have that kind of clout, and it would be naive to think that we could be any more successful, or that we could do any more than just make companies and governments even more defensive of their position. If we are to have a serious impact on the oil industry, we must be imaginative, and we must be strategic. This means looking for "levers" - groups of people who have more power over the industry than a bunch of young, radical environmentalists. We need to appeal to their particular interests, and inspire and empower them to take effective action. We must go beyond traditional channels of influence (those being: direct to the company, through consumers or through politicians).

MEXICO: On 29th January 1996 thousands of unarmed campesinos blockaded state run Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) oil wells in the oil-rich South Eastern state of Tabasco, Mexico. Ten days later police and troops used clubs and tear gas to disperse them. At one of the blockades in Nacajuca 1,000 police and soldiers violently removed 2,000 and arrested and detained 102. The area is so polluted that in the local lagoons and rivers all the fish have died out, people can no longer bathe or wash clothes and the acid rain is so concentrated it corrodes the tin roofs on the local dwellings. This action was part of a lengthy campaign of direct action demanding compensation for this ecological damage, measures to prevent future contamination and an end to government corruption.

The most recent in this series of actions was on 5th December 1997 when more than 1,000 peasants blocked the entrances of the Ogarrio, Cinco Presidentes and Blasillo oil fields in Tabasco, some 55 miles north of Mexico City. Local farmers and fishermen complain that Pemex has spoiled large swathes of land through continuous leaks from its fields and it has left them unable to produce enough food to live on. Disease is rampant in the area and higher than average rates of infantile leukemia and cancer in adults are reported.

One obvious thing on which the industry depends is finance. Who supplies it? The biggest investors are pension funds and insurance companies. Massive claims arising from extreme weather events could put the insurance industry out of business - so why does it invest in the cause of climate change? Exactly this point has been made to insurance companies, by Oxford campaign group Solar Century and by Friends of the Earth. Some creative direct action to further express this could be very well placed. Of the pension funds, perhaps look at those held by groups such as trades unions, teachers or university staff. The list of shareholders can be obtained from the company itself (under sec. 356 of the Companies Act 1985 - see Statutes in Force in a library, or Corporate Watch issue 1 - the company is obliged to provide this information), or alternatively by a full search on the company (costing £3.50) at Companies House (55 City Road, London EC1 or general enquiries 01222 380 801 for other offices).

Another question on finance is where does it happen? The London Stock Exchange is important, as is the International Petroleum Exchange, and the offices of the fund managers, of the analysts, of the financial consultants who manage share deals. All of these offices can be found out from company annual reports and from business directories in city libraries.

Another possible target group is the future workforce. Where do they come from? Schools, for a start. Presentations or speeches at schools in areas of high oil industry employment could be useful. Targeting careers presentations (the milk round) at universities was done in a number of places last term, and can be very effective. There are also employment agencies which specialise in providing oil personnel. In approaching these, the job insecurity in the oil business should be stressed (as well as ethical issues). How long is the industry going to continue (employing people) while the effects of climate change become more profound? How long will workers be kept on while competitive pressures and the rapid advance of technology in the sector force increasing mechanisation? There are now several unmanned rigs in the North Sea (which the industry claims as improvements to safety!); meanwhile downstream ever tighter margins have forced massive consolidation and rationalisation. Gulf's Milford Haven refinery is to be closed, as is BP's Llandarcy lubricants plant in North Wales. Shell has recently announced the loss of 3,000 jobs across its European marketing sector (ie forecourts and distribution). Your future in the oil and gas industry? Forget it….

Cardigan Bay Earth First!


The only EF! group so far (to the best of my knowledge) engaged in a sustained campaign against oil exploration - which in their case means Chevron's disastrous plans for Cardigan Bay. They report that: "Chevron has delayed drilling for one, maybe two years, at least partly as a result of unexpected public interest(!). After our occupation of their HQ in August '97 Chevron invited all the interested conservation organisations round for a chat (who were over the moon, previously Chevron wouldn't even answer their letters). Out of these meetings came some good info. Chevron was planning on drilling at three sites in the Bay but now say they only want to drill at one. An interesting spin is that because they didn't get round to drilling in the time specified by the government they are in breach of contract. The DTI is furious and may push Chevron into drilling all three wells as soon as possible. At £3 million each they might not fancy this much." However, the pressure is still very much on: the 18th and 19th rounds of oil licensing (1998) look very dangerous, both for Cardigan Bay and the 'Atlantic Frontier'.

As mentioned earlier, the industry is becoming increasingly technology-driven; therefore research and development is of crucial importance. Much of this is carried out in universities, where it is cheaper, and contact is made with the broader, related research going on in the academic departments. In November 1997 the UK Offshore Operators Association sent a report to member companies encouraging them to increase their involvement in higher education. The key universities are in London (especially Imperial and University Colleges) and in Scotland (Heriot-Watt, Aberdeen, Edinburgh), although there are many others. Geology departments are used to analyse exploration data, while Engineering, Chemistry and other departments develop the structures and the processes for extraction and production. Activists at Imperial College have just begun an excellent campaign getting students to challenge the conflict of interests of their Rector, Sir Ronald Oxburgh, who is also a non-executive director of Shell. The campaign to chuck out oil will be expanding to other universities soon (contact Corporate Watch).

Another very important interest group is the workers. Certainly, they have been heavily exploited by the companies in the UK. BP switched all its personnel onto "single staff" status between 1993 and 1995, meaning that unions could only negotiate on health and safety issues; pay and conditions are up to individuals to resolve themselves without support. This was achieved by a series of financial inducements and psychological pressure. In Shell Exploration & Production there has never been any collective bargaining, except on grievances and disciplinary procedures. In 1993, Shell made all 400 maintenance staff at the Shell Haven refinery in Essex redundant, and asked them to re-apply for their jobs on the basis of no union recognition; the company refused to meet the T&G union. Tanker drivers from Shell Haven are paid for a standard delivery time, regardless of the actual time it takes - for example, the trip to London and back is paid for three hours' work, whatever the time of day, even though in rush hour the journey takes at least five hours12.

However, it is difficult to know how we can really work with the workforce in an industry that we want to see the end of. Yes, we share a common enemy, but what do we want the workers to do? What do they want us to do? The author would appreciate any ideas on this. The most radical of the offshore unions is the Offshore Industries Liaison Committee (OILC), which is open in its distrust and criticism of the companies. Its main campaign area is safety, although it is naturally pissed off about workforce downsizing and union de-recognition. Last year OILC paid for Freddy Pulecio of the Colombian Union Sindical Obrero to tour Europe and describe his disturbing experiences of BP and the Colombian military.

There are other groups we should be encouraging to take direct action - such as fishermen or those whose livelihoods depend on the tourist industry. In May 1997, fourteen fishing boats blockaded Sullom Voe port in the Shetlands, delaying two supertankers for 24 hours. This was in protest at the damage to their catches of razor clams (and the lack of compensation) arising from the Braer disaster.

It is through such alliances that we can start to really challenge the grip of the oil industry. There are more people who've had enough of oil than you'd think.


100 Days to Kyoto
c/o Box CW, 111 Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RQ
The network which facilitated almost 100 actions in the run-up to Kyoto. 100 days can help particular EF! groups organise actions, by sending someone with knowledge of oil infrastructure etc. Contact 100 Days Consultancy Services Inc.

Action Globale Contre l'Industrie Petroliere
c/o Greenpeace, 7 Boulevard Carl Vogt, 1205 Geneve, Switzerland, tel. 0041 22 329 1351, fax 0041 22 320 4567
International activist network (some of them speak English!).

Offshore Industries Liaison Committee
6 Trinity Street, Aberdeen AB11 5LY, 01224 210 118
The most radical offshore union.

Solar Century
32 St Bernard's Road, Oxford OX2 6EH, 01865 513 534 [13 August 2002 this link works, though it's very slow]
Working with insurance companies.

Greenpeace UK Oil Team
Canonbury Villas, Islington, London N1 2PN, 0171 865 8100

Friends of the Earth UK Energy Team
26-28 Underwood Street, London N1 7JQ, 0171 490 1555

Cardigan Bay EF!
Temperance House, Taliesin, Powys, Mid Wales

Useful websites
Guide to worldwide oil and gas fields, including detailed diagrams, plus information on the (service and operating) companies responsible for each part.
Institute of Petroleum site, including news (eg contracts) and lots of other useful information.
All kinds of useful information about oil.
[Updated 4 March 2002: 13 Aug 2002 the site is suggesting ]
A site of links to just about anything else you could need.


1: BP, Statistical Review of World Energy, 1995

2: Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), The Energy Report - Oil & Gas Resources of the UK, pub. the Stationery Office, 1996, p.15

3: Meg Chesshyre, 'On target to peak again - UK production', in European oil industry supplement to FT, 10/9/97, p.ii

4: ibid, and op cit 6, p.74

5: DTI, Digest of UK Energy Statistics, pub. the Stationery Office, 1997, p.75

6: Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), The Energy Report - Oil & Gas Resources of the UK, pub. the Stationery Office, 1996, p.180

7: Oil, Shell Briefing Service, 1990, p.9

8: P King, 'Mixing oil and science', Science and Public Affairs, Winter 1996, pp.34-37

9: Institute of Petroleum, Oil Data Sheet 12 - UK imports of crude oil, 1992/93

10: op cit 6, pp.76-79

11: ibid, p.75

12: See Ignite #1, p.16



R = Refineries
Y = Fabrication Yards (eg for building platforms)
P = Pipeline constructors
T = Terminal (ie: where crude oil or gas is brought ashore)
D = Depot (ie: where refined products are stored)
If you would like a more thorough version of this map, please send £10,000 to DoD and we'll do it.


(figures in brackets refer to millions of tonnes per annum production)

R1: BP - Coryton Refinery, The Manorway, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex (8.8)
R2: BP - Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, Tel: 01324 483422 (8.9)
R3: Conoco - Eastfield Rd, South Killingholme, Immingham, Grimsby, DN40 (7.6)
R4: Eastham Refinery Ltd. - North Rd, Ellesmere Port, South Wirral (1.0)
R5: Shell - Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, Oil Sites Rd, Ellesmere Port, South Wirral, L65 (12.5)
R6: Elf - Milford Haven, Tel: 01646 690300 (5.3)
R7: Gulf - Waterston, Milford Haven, Tel: 01646 692461 (5.4)
R8: Esso - Fawley, Southampton, Tel: 01703 892 511 (15.0)
R9: Lindsey Oil Refinery Ltd. - Eastfield Rd, North Killingholme, DN40 (9.4)
R10: Nynas UK AB, East Camperdown St., Dundee, DD1 (0.7)
R11: Phillips Imperial Petroleum Ltd. - Wilton, Middlesborough, Tel: 01642 454 144 (5.0)
R12: Shell - Haven Refinery, The Manorway, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex (4.3)
R13: Texaco - Pembroke SA71, Tel: 01646 641 334 (9.1)

Fabrication Yards

Y1: Aker McNulty - South Shields, Tyne-and-Wear
Y2: Amec Process & Energy - Amec House, Amec Way, Hadrian Rd, Wallsend, Tyne-and-Wear, NE28
Y3: BARMAC - Ardersier, Tel: 01667 463 000
Y4: BARMAC - Nigg, Moray Firth, Tel: (same as Y3)
Y5: Brown Brothers - Rosebank Works, Broughton Rd, Edinburgh, EH7
Y6: Consafe Engineering - Consafe Centre, Greenwell Rd, East Tullos Industrial Estate, Aberdeen AB12
Y7: Consafe, Seaforth Place, West Shore, Burntisland, Fife KY3
Y8: Consafe Fabrications - Sea Oil Base, Ferryden, Montrose, Angus, DD10
Y9: Heerema - Greenland Rd, Hartlepool, Cleveland TS24
Y10: Kvaerner Oil & Gas - Methil Yard, Wellesley Rd., Buckhaven, Leven, Fife KY8
Y11: Lewis Offshore, Arnish Point, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Y12: SLP Engineering - Commercial St, Middlesborough, Cleveland TS2
Y13: UiE - Cart St, Clydebank, Dumbartonshire G81
Y14: Amec Process & Energy - Edison Way, Gapton Hall Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth NR31
Y15: Atlantic Power & Gas - James Watt Close, Harfrey's Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth NR31
Y16: Grootcon, High Rd., Gorleston, Great Yarmouth NR31
Y17: Marshall Marlow - Unit 31, Merlin Business Park, Coningsby Rd, Bretton, Peterborough PE3

Pipeline Constructors

P1: Amec Process & Energy - Edison Way, Gapton Hall Industrial Estate, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR31
P2: S.T. Marine - Unit 1, Fenner Business Centre, Salmon Rd, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30.
P3: Steels Engineering - Leechmere Works, Leechmere Industrial Estate, Sunderland, Tyne-and-Wear, SR2.
P4: AHL Industrial Pipework Specialists - Unit 22, Royal Industrial Estate, Blackett St, Jarrow, Tyne-and-Wear NE32.
P5: Marine Engineering Pipeworks - Leechmere Industrial Estate, Toll Bar Rd, Grangetown, Sunderland, SR2.
P6: As P5.
P7: Enterprise Engineering Services Ltd - Craigshaw Drive, West Tullos Industrial Estate, Aberdeen AB12.
P8: A&B Welding Services - Unit 1A, Woodside Rd, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23.
P9: Heerema - Greenland Rd, Hartlepool, Cleveland, TS24.
P10: MTB Engineering Services - 23 Satchell Lane, Hamble, Southampton SO31.
P11: McAlpine Alfred Services & Pipelines - Cambridge Rd, Ellesmere Port, South Wirral, L65.
P12: Smit Land & Marine Engineering - Port Causeway, Bromborough, Wirral, Merseyside L62.
P13: BPA - Lord Alexander House, Waterhouse St, Hemel Hempstead, HP1.
P14: Riverside Engineering Services - Unit 5, East Dock St, Dundee DD1
P15: Stephenson & Heron - Scandinavian Way, Stallingborough, Grimsby, DN37.


T1: Theddlethorpe
T2: Purfleet
T3: Bacton
T4: Dimlington
T5: Easington
T6: Seal Sands
T7: Cruden Bay
T8: St. Fergus
T9: Flotta
T10: Sullom Voe
T11: Barrow
T12: Point of Ayr


D1: BP - Depot, Victoria Rd., Dunoon PA23
D2: BP - Dalmeny Installation, Dalmery, S. Queensferry CH30
D3: Conaco - Bramhall Oil Terminal, Chester Rd., Poynton, Stockport SK12
D4: Elf - Cadishead Terminal, Liverpool Rd., Cadishead, Manchester M44
D5: Esso - Fuel Depot, Wilton Rd, Quidhampton, Salisbury SP2
D6: Esso - Birmingham Terminal, Bromford Lane, Erdington B24
D7: Texaco - Midland Oil Terminal, Trinity Rd, Kingbury, Tamworth
D8: Texaco - Buncefield Terminal, Green Lane, Hemel Hempstead HP2
D9: Texaco, Total, Esso - Colwick Industrial Estate, Private Rd., Number 3, Colwick, Nottingham NG4
D10: Shell Mex & BP - Berwick Lane, Hallen, Bristol BS10
D11: Shell Mex & BP - Oliver Rd., Grays, Essex
D12: Shell Mex & BP - Vaughan Rd., Harpenden, Herts. D13: Shell Mex & BP - Padworth Lane, Lower Padworth, Reading RG7
D14: Shell Mex & BP - Paper Mill Rd., Rawcliffe Bridge, Goole DN14
D15: Shell, BP - Hamble Lane, Hamble, Southampton, SO31
D16: Shell, BP - Piccadilly Way, Kinsbury, Tamworth B78


Bear in mind that London has all the corporate headquarters, as well as the International Petroleum Exchange, and Shell's International Trading and Shipping (Orchard Place, E14.). Most importantly, remember that this list, and the information contained in it, is by no means complete - for instance, there are many more depots than are listed here, and practically all ports have depots. Depots can be very good for actions as a distribution network can be easily disrupted - but there are different types, eg. some are for distribution for petrol stations, some for lubricants, others for heating oil etc. And some of these will be better for actions than others (in terms of disruption caused.) So - research everything further, this is just intended as a starting point!

Do or Die DTP/web team: