From: Editor, The Ecologist, More from this Affiliate
Published February 28, 2010 07:45 AM

BP and Shell face new shareholder revolt over tar sands

Investors want oil giants to answer questions on their involvement in the environmentally damaging extraction of oil from tar sands

Shareholders at BP and Shell will get the chance to vote at upcoming AGMs on whether to force oil giants to come clean on their Canadian tar sands involvement.


Institutional investors including The Co-operative Asset Management and Rathbone Greenbank have co-signed a 'special resolution,' which would force the two companies to fully disclose and justify their involvement in Canadian tar sands.

The oil sands in Canada are the largest reserve of petroleum in the world outside of Saudi Arabia with an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 trillion barrels of oil trapped in a mixture of sand, water and clay.

However, the energy needed to extract and process the oil results in greenhouse gas emissions per barrel three times those of conventional oil. The spread of the tar sands exploration and production is also destroying forests and impacting on local wildlife and communities.

Shell has invested almost one-third of its resources in extracting oil from tar sands and produces 155,000 barrels a day.

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