Virunga: Can Environmental Damage by Oil Exploration be Prosecuted as a Crime under International Law? 

This week was marked by the announcement by Global Witness that “the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government is attempting to reclassify swathes of two UNESCO-protected World Heritage Sites –Salonga and Virunga National Parks – to allow oil exploration to take place”. At the same time the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was concluding… Read More

On Top of the Game: Rockefeller Family Fund Divests from all Fossil Fuels

While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense—financially or ethically—to continue holding investments in these companies. There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons. The science and intent enunciated by the Paris agreement cannot be more clear: far from… Read More

JUN 2015: Global Witness: UK Oil Company Bankrolled Soldiers Accused of Bribery and Violence Against Oil Opponents

AGM scandal for British company at centre of Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Oscar-nominated film. Cheques and receipts revealed by Global Witness show oil company Soco International paid over $40,000 in just two weeks to Congolese military officer accused of bribery and violence. Officer and his soldiers implicated in bribing, intimidating and even killing Soco opponents. Company dogged… Read More

SOCO’s ‘Withdrawal’ from Virunga: An Investor’s View

Q) When are conservationists and asset managers ever on the same side? A) More often than you’d think For some, the announcement on 11 June 2014 that SOCO International, a UK-listed oil and gas company, would not drill in the Virunga National Park – a designated world heritage site in the Democratic Republic of Congo… Read More

Save Virunga: Is Virunga Saved?

“Virunga National Park’s conservationists and activists are celebrating a victory today after British oil company SOCO International plc (SOCO) agreed to end its controversial operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But the devil is in the details and many believe the war against drilling for oil in Africa’s oldest national park has just… Read More

Valuing the Invaluable: Virunga

Valuing Natural Capital: The Economic Invisibility of Nature  The Economic Invisibility of Nature The ultimate source of all economic capital is natural capital and the world economy is a subsidiary of nature, not the other way round. We are damaging and over-consuming the planet’s natural capital, on which we all depend for our prosperity and,… Read More

July 8, 2013: Norway’s Pension Fund divests from UK Oil Company SOCO International Plc

Norway’s Pension Fund divests their investments of over $ 33 million from UK oil company SOCO International Plc. The Norwegian oil fund, which has been the fourth largest institutional investor in the company, is sending with this a powerful signal to Soco International and its remaining shareholders. . There are too many concerns with oil… Read More

Oil risk-benefit equation often overlooked by investors = bad practices

Africa: Managing Risks in the Extractive Industries By Lionel Badal, 25 October 2012 ANALYSIS Rising demand fuelled by emerging countries, most notoriously China and India, has led to increased competition for natural resources. Despite recurrent volatility in the markets, the trend is a rise in prices, oil being the prime example. In this context, frontiers… Read More

JUL 31, 2012: Top 15 Shareholders – the global connection

 Top 15 Shareholders  –  Total, Ophir Energy and SOCO International – One Corporate Responsibility What is a shareholder? A shareholder (or stockholder) is an individual or company (including a corporation) that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a joint stock company. Both private and public traded companies have shareholders. Companies listed at… Read More

Oil in Virunga, who is financing who: the Dutch connection

PROFUNDO Summary* The purpose of this study is to identify the Dutch financial institutions that have relations with the oil companies Ophir Energy, SOCO International and Total. These three companies are exploring for oil in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or are planning to start with oil exploration. The… Read More

No oil drilling in Virunga: Dutch Banks and Investors talking to Total

 No oil drilling in Virunga National Park Zeist – Large Dutch banks and pension funds have investments in the French oil company Total, which wants to drill for oil in one of the last habitats of the endangered mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park in DR Congo. This became evident in a financial anlysis done by… Read More