"Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die. In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer sustain their families. It is not tolerable."
-Williams Mkpa, a community leader in Ibeno, Nigeria
Despite the massive PR campaign coming from the bastards at British Petroleum, it's reassuring that some people have long memories (see above photo). It's not as though BP suffered a severe enough economic backlash from the destruction they unleashed on the Gulf either when service stations reported only a 5% drop in sales across the board. Perhaps the BP spill was just little too close to home for business as usual to go on, BP reported a $15 billion dollar loss in the second quarter due to the costs of managing the spill, a large scale ecological collapse for the region.
Europe's second largest oil corporation has little to fear in the long run, just check out the track record of Exxon Mobil or Shell, 40 years of oil spills and systematic destruction of the earth and human communities in the Nigerian Delta has had little effect on long term profits or public perception, due to their massive PR operations and the general lack of action from the west over just about any atrocity in Africa. Despite all of their baggage, 2nd quarter 2010 profits from Shell were $4.5 billion dollars, Exxon Mobil pulled in $7.56 billion, both companies are party to the continued repression of the resistance to their operations in the Niger Delta.
If the Nigerian model is any sign of what's to come, the impunity of oil companies will continue to varying degrees whether in the Delta, the Gulf, or perhaps even the Mediterranean soon enough. So don't hold your breath for any of these oil companies to be reigned in by any state actor anytime soon either, the demands for profit and the explosion of the eco-crisis have gone hand in hand for decades now with little consequence for those in power. Without the intervention of a popular and effective direct action movement aimed at destroying the worldwide menace of industrial capitalism, we will no doubt continue to see this disaster spread to every corner of the earth until the bitter end.