BP like to boast that they are the inventors of fracking. They aren’t willing to frack here in their home country, the UK, for fear that it might ‘attract the wrong kind of attention’, however, they have no problem with fracking overseas.
Countries where BP currently has fracking operations include the USA, Argentina and Oman. They are looking to expand their shale operations in the US; recently spending $10.5 billion to buy BHP’s interests in 470,000 acres of shale fields.
BP holds a 50% stake in the Pan American Energy Group (PAEG). Via, PAEG, BP is playing a leading role in advancing one of the world’s biggest carbon bombs, the Vaca Muerta shale gas and oil mega-project in Patagonia, Argentina. The territory covered by Vaca Muerta is home to thirty nine Mapuche indigenous communities, as well as rich agricultural land. BP continues to muscle through with its fracking plans, despite fierce local objections.
The previous track record of BP-Pan American Energy is further reason for concern. Platform has revealed that the company was involved in an alleged $300 million bribe to regional government officials in return for an extended oilfield licence.
Other questionable practices by the company include using the gendarmes to suppress worker unrest and causing serious large-scale groundwater contamination at Koluel Kaike, where it was the last oil company of all operating in the area to introduce remediation measures.
Shell has fracked or conducted exploratory work for fracking in locations dotted all over the world. It has significant live fracking operations and is planning to spend between $2 billion and $3 billion per year on shale between 2018 and 2020.
Shell has also attempted to frack or drill exploratory wells in numerous other places. In Canada, Shell’s attempt to extract coal bed methane from the Klappan, also known as the Sacred Headwaters was met with huge opposition. Klapan is culturally important for many First Nations people and is the source of three major wild salmon rivers. Following sustained protests by First Nations communities and local people, Shell was eventually forced to abandon its extraction plans in the region.
ConocoPhillips is the world’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Along with Shell and BP, ConocoPhillips has attempted to add language to US Climate Change Bill that would have essentially blocked federal oversight of fracking.
ConocoPhillips has major fracking operations in North America where vast new shale resources have been identified. It is fracking in big US shale oil regions such as the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota.
The company also has a large stake in the Australian Pacific LNG project (APLNG). APLNG is Australia’s largest producer of coal seam gas. While not shale gas, coal seam gas is another form of unconventional gas that often requires highly invasive extraction methods, including fracking.
Despite huge public opposition, coming from wide-ranging sections of society, ConocoPhillips has been conducting exploratory work for unconventional hydrocarbons in San Martín, Cesar, Colombia.
Several organisations have alleged that the company initiated its exploration work illegally, operating without the right permissions. In September 2016 large protests took place to stop machinery accessing a test site; in October 2016, riot police moved to repress the protest,injuring 10 demonstrators.