Offshore Plants

L’humanité découvre un nouveau satellite : l’océan. La mer est la nouvelle lune. C’est promis. Le 21ème siècle et les suivants seront maritimes ou ne seront pas. L’offshore éolien est un cheval de Troie. Le foncier marin est immense et il n’y a pas des voisins pour se plaindre. Après l’étalement urbain vient le temps de l’étalement marin. Aux entraves des plates-formes d’hydrocarbures abandonnées ou en exploitation s’ajouteront les usines sur l’eau, les mines sous-marines, les stockages de CO2, les unités de dessalement. La mer à boire, à trancher et à consommer sans modération. Qu’en pensent les baleines et les poissons ?

The end of the Probo Koala

7 Feb 2013

The end of the Probo Koala

The Hua Wen, ex-Probo Koala is going to be demolished in the coming weeks in China. From August 2006 on, the scattering in Abidjan of desulphurization waste containing mercaptan and hydrogen sulphide has provoked a panic and the paralysis of Ivory Coast business capital. 16 fatalities were officially reported; the victims had been exposed to the toxic emanations. The toxic and stinky waste which had been unloaded from the Probo Koala slop tanks had illegally left Amsterdam and Tallinn, two North European ports (1).

Lire la suite

(Français) Après l’étalement urbain, voici l’étalement marin

17 Jan 2013

Only in French.

Lire la suite

Oil in French Guiana: the applicants are getting impatient

10 Sep 2012

Shell has already digged the first four drilling wells for exploring offshore French Guiana. These operations took place, one might say, by the “old system.” The authorization process had been initiated by Jospin’s government in 2001 and then extended by Fillon’s government in 2011. In the press release, “The go-fast Shell” on July 9, 2012, Robin des Bois denounced the granting conditions of such authorizations. The regional committee of marine fisheries and mariculture in French Guiana has requested that the operations be suspended.

Lire la suite

Let’s go

9 Jul 2012

Let’s go

Shell of French Guiana
Release # 3 – Volume 2

Go Fast!

1 – On May 29, 2001, Christian Pierret, Secretary of State for Industry in Lionel Jospin’s government has granted Planet Oil Limited a permission for offshore drilling in French Maritime Guiana.

2 – On July 2nd, 2007, the license originally assigned to Planet Oil Limited was extended and given to Hardman Petroleum France by Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of Ecology in François Fillon’s government.

3 –The operation was framed by two prefectoral decrees on January and March 2011 respectively. Then, from March to November, 2011: the primary exploratory drilling was accomplished. A peculiar situation : the prefect of French Guiana issued two security measures for evacuation of drilling platform when Kourou Space Center launched its first satellite because of the fear of a possible fallout on the drilling region.

Lire la suite

More transparency on the offshore and less light

28 Jun 2012


Plenary meeting – OSPAR Commission for the protection of the North-East Atlantic

So far from Guyana and yet so close, member states of the OSPAR Commission for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic in Bonn approached the offshore industry with Robin des Bois as their pilot fish. The area of competence of this international Commission extends from the arctic waters to Portugal.


About 1,300 oil and gas offshore facilities are established in the OSPAR area, mainly in the North and Norwegian Seas. Pioneering in the field of ocean industrialization, this sector benefits from its geographical isolation. Robin des Bois proposed to the OSPAR member states to accurately map the oil rigs and label each of them with an identity voucher including key dates, water depth, drilling depth in the ocean floor, flags (certain drilling installations in the OSPAR zone are under Panama or Marshall Island flag), names of companies involved (owners, operators, managers, sub contractors…), accidents having occurred on site (fires, oil releases…) and main chronic emissions. This proposition was not greeted favorably by the UK delegation, neither was it by the International Oil and Gas Producers Association (OGP). Enforcing transparency is expensive whereas all the data is available on no free-of-charge databases, they say. These arguments were not convincing. France, Sweden, Spain, and Germany have supported Robin des Bois’s proposal. For once, the NGO will be invited to the next meeting of the offshore Experts Assessment Panel of OSPAR to itemize the project and its implementing means. Until now and for a long time, France had been represented on this panel by TOTAL. Has change finally occurred?

Lire la suite

A Full tank of risks in Guyana, Normandy, and in the Arctic

22 Jun 2012

Drilling in Guyana- Press release # 2

Shell is leading the dance in Guyana. The offshore is going to be subjected for over a year to the harmful effects and pollutions of 4 exploratory petroleum drillings and experimental pumping. The Guyanese coast and neighboring countries are not immune to drifts of accidental oil spills. The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission has highlighted the diversity of large and small cetaceans off the coast of Guyana in 2011. Manatees, leatherback sea-turtles, and thousands of migrating birds that come from the Caribbean and Brazil to reproduce on the Grand Connétable Islands are threatened by the ultra-deep drilling thanks to the Shell’s supremacy, pressure from the Guyana elect, and the weaknesses of the French governments. The story began in May 2001, with the issuance from a prefect departmental Prefect order granting an exclusive permit for oil exploration also called the Guyana Maritime license. The energy transition made a detour by the prehistoric era and it is well known that the impact on the environment does not address, far from it, all the risks due to noise, light and atmospheric pollution.

Lire la suite

Full tank of Risks off the Coast of Guyana

20 Jun 2012

Shell, the black gold ogre loiters off the coast of Guyana. The drilling vessel Stena IceMax, just passed off the coast of Cap in South Africa and is making its way towards Guyana. The first of Shell’s four new exploratory oil drillings should begin June 19th on the other side of the South Atlantic. The dossier is still not complete; the decree from Guyana’s Prefect on the preliminary dispositions for work and the prevention of marine pollutions still has not been signed. There is cause for concern and to suspend the prefects signing.

Lire la suite

Nightmare in the North Sea

2 Apr 2012

At 12:15 on March 25th an incident occurred at the Elgin-Franklin offshore platform complex situated approximately 240km east of Aberdeen. It is estimated that a total 200,000 cubic meters of gas per day, is spreading into the atmosphere and directly impacting 4.8 km2 of the marine environment. According to Total they are currently unable to assess the exact quantity of gas which is leaking into the environment, they have stated that the size of the sheen is reducing.

The cloud of hot gas which reaches temperatures of 190°C around the Elgin platform is explosive in and around the zone. It is within this explosive zone that the emergency team will have to intervene to inject the well with mud to try to cut off the gas. No responsible employer would ever take such a high risk with their workers lives. Even if the depth of water from the well head is only 93 meters it could take up to 6 months to drill relief wells in extremely dangerous situation of explosive gas. Maybe an option could be to sit back and do nothing as has been done before, since 1990 methane gas has continued to leak into the North Sea from a drilling exploration expedition that went wrong at bloc 22/4b. The industry and the British authorities concluded that sealing the well could result in uncontrolled release from new leakage paths in the fragile geologic formation.

Lire la suite

Oil Spill in the North Sea

18 Aug 2011

Early last week the Gannet Alpha platform situated approximately 180km east of Aberdeen, Scotland started leaking light crude oil into the North Sea. To date it is believed that some 218 tonnes (1,300 barrels) of oil has leaked from an 8 inch thick pipeline which joins Gannet E and F drilling fields. The leak was only confirmed a couple of days after it started by the operator Shell. The platform continues to operate but the sub-sea line between Gannet E and F has been isolated and the flow line depressurised which should reduce the leak flow.

Lire la suite

There is movement in the Arctic

22 Jul 2011

There is movement in the Arctic

On July 7th 2011 a maritime border agreement between Russia and Norway entered into force. This new dividing line ends a 44 year dispute over 175,000 square kilometres in the Barents and Arctic seas and opens up the former so called “grey zone” for exploration. The day following the entry into force Norway deployed the Harrier Explorer (Imo 7807380) a seismic vessel to start exploration in the zone.

This border agreement follows a Treaty on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic on May 12th 2011. It is the first legally binding treaty under the circumpolar intergovernmental forum the Arctic Council and was signed in Nuuk Greenland by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States of America. The Treaty so called the “Nuuk Agreement” is focused on saving lives. It is an important step towards policy-making as there is an increasing amount of traffic venturing into the Arctic, which includes tankers and passenger ships of which a number were not constructed to navigate in ice-covered waters.

Lire la suite