Flame's 25th Anniversary

Flame Conference

25 years of trashing communities and the climate!

**Download the CEO and Gastivists factsheet on the Flame Conference 2019, available as a beautiful online PDF, or in a print version**

 

What: 25th edition of the Flame Gas & LNG Conference

When: 13-15 May 2019

Where: Hotel Okura, Amsterdam

Who: Gas industry executives and lobbyists; European politicians

Entry: €3,000-€6,000 (plus VAT)

Why: To promote fossil fuels, sign lucrative new gas deals, trash communities and the climate

 

Don’t believe the industry hype: gas ain’t clean it ain’t green. It’s just greenwashing business as usual, capitalising on the climate crisis.

 

The Flame conference in Amsterdam will be opening its doors for the 25th time to the gas industry’s biggest climate criminals. The likes of Shell, BP, Anadarko, RWE, ExxonMobil and Fluxys will be in town for three days to lobby decision makers and secure more gas deals, keeping us hooked on dirty fossil fuels while trashing communities and the climate. Ooh, and don’t forget the cocktail parties!

 

Top sponsorship opportunities

Climate criminals with cash to spare (all of them!) can raise their profiles at the conference by:

  • Hosting the speaker zone and getting backstage access to the elite of the gas world

  • Hosting a breakfast meeting, lunchtime briefing, champagne roundtable or gala networking event with their delegates of choice

  • Sponsoring the coffee house, smoothie bar or water bottles for attendees

  • Buying a meeting suite in ‘Flame Village’ with early access to the delegate list

  • Sponsoring the wifi stand (everyone will stop by for the code!)

  • Sponsoring an e-newsletter or webinar, or making a personalised Flame video hosted by a BBC TV presenter with a soft spot for the gas industry

Sparking Young Talent

Flame offers a discount package for under-35s to “introduce your high achievers to the Flame community”. ‘Bright Sparks’ includes networking, media training and breakfast with Jason Tate, CEO of European Gas & Power for BP. Find out what the typical day of a gas executive looks like, and why not ask how they manage to sleep at night?

Shell and the Dutch gas addiction

It’s no accident that Flame takes place in the Netherlands, a country whose wealth is linked to gas extraction by Royal Dutch Shell.

 

Gas in Groningen

Discovered in 1959, the Groningen gas field in the north of the Netherlands is the largest in Europe. Operated by NAM, a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, it supplies local homes as well as neighbouring countries. Years of community protest due to the resulting earthquakes and damaged houses finally forced the Dutch government to announce a production stop in 2030. Yet NAM continues to insist that “the Netherlands needs oil and gas, now and in the future.”1

 

See you in court, Shell

Like ExxonMobil in the US, Shell is being sued for misleading the public about climate change despite knowing the truth since the 1960s.2 Dutch organisations and 500 co-plaintiffs have taken the company to court on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries.3 40,000 Nigerian villagers are also taking Shell to the UK’s Supreme Court for refusing to clean up the oil pollution that has destroyed their land and waters.4 Court cases are quickly piling up for the oil and gas giant, which is also on trial in Italy (together with ENI) and likely soon in the Netherlands over alleged corruption in its Nigerian oil deals.5

 

Dutch government smooths the way

Despite the mounting court cases, the Dutch government continues to lend a hand to Shell’s criminal oil and gas extraction activities. Recently released documents show that the Dutch embassy in Mozambique was instrumental in helping Shell to win a public tender for the construction of a $5 billion gas-to-liquids plant in the country.6

Gas as a false solution

The extraction and transport of both conventional and unconventional (‘fracked’) gas has severe social, environmental and climate impacts all along the supply chain:

  • The push for gas infrastructure results in the displacement of communities and associated human rights violations.

  • Fracking, which involves noxious chemicals and high volumes of water, pollutes aquifers and has extreme impacts on communities.
     

  • Although industry claims that gas is the ‘cleanest’ fossil fuel, fossil gas is composed largely of methane, which is over 100 times more potent than CO2 over a ten-year period. Large quantities of gas leak into the atmosphere during drilling, transportation, and particularly fracking, making gas as bad as coal for the climate (if not worse).7

Shipping fossil gas around the world

Flame’s Global LNG Summit on 13 May gives a platform to some of the world’s worst climate criminals – including Italian Eni, French Total, US Anadarko, Dutch Gasunie and Belgian Fluxys – all of which are trying to expand the use of ‘liquified’ natural gas (LNG).

What is LNG?
Fossil gas, cooled until it becomes liquid, can be loaded into tankers and shipped across the ocean. The US sends its fracked gas around the world thanks to LNG, while Russia ships gas from the Arctic to Europe. Rather than moving away from fossil gas, industry is trying to create an even bigger market with LNG.

Mozambique LNG

The LNG terminal that Anadarko is attempting to build on the northern coast of Mozambique will displace communities and destroy homes and livelihoods.8 The government backs the $20 billion project, although only a fraction of the revenues are predicted to stay in the country and the promise of jobs has not materialised.9 Despite widespread signs of corruption and malfeasance, the project is also supported by numerous export credit agencies.10 Oil giants ExxonMobil, Shell and Eni are also planning to build LNG facilities here so they can exploit the Rovuma Basin gas discoveries.11

 

EU pushing LNG

The EU gives political and financial support to numerous LNG projects by awarding them the status of ‘Projects of Common Interest’. In Croatia, local communities are fighting one such scheme, a proposed floating LNG terminal off the island of Krk. As there are no buyers for the gas,12 this is yet another useless, publicly-funded mega project (like the 28 other EU terminals that have been used at 23% of their total capacity since 2012).13 Although the EU claims that Krk in particular and LNG in general will reduce reliance on Russian gas, Russia became the EU’s biggest LNG supplier in February.

EU pushing pipelines

The EU is also promoting numerous new gas pipelines under the guise of common interest, including the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that would bring Azeri gas to Italy. Fluxys, a Belgian gas transporter and owner of two LNG terminals, is a major shareholder and key lobbyist for TAP in Brussels. Instead of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and moving away from gas, the European Commission is positioned to play a major role in gas well into the future.

Worst climate criminals at Flame

Shell - $21.4 billion profit in 2018

  • The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas corporation is an ‘Associate Sponsor’ of Flame.

  • Spent the last 50 years destroying the livelihoods and health of local people in the Niger Delta.

  • Its gas extraction has caused earthquakes and damaged housing in Groningen.

  • Spent over €40 million since 2011 lobbying EU policymakers and has met 63 times with the European Commission’s elite since November 2014.14

  • Knew about climate change since the 1960s,15 but opted to keep pushing fossil fuels to protect its profits.16

 

BP - $12.7 billion profit in 2018

  • The British oil and gas ‘supermajor’ will present daily at Flame.

  • Temporarily re-branded itself ‘Beyond Petroleum’ and invested in solar energy before ditching the name to keep the focus on fossil fuels, including toxic tar sands in Canada.17

  • Building the controversial Southern Gas Corridor to transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe together with Azerbaijan’s state-owned SOCAR.18

  • Alongside Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron has spent more than $1 billion on misleading PR and lobbying against the Paris Agreement since it was signed in 2015.19

 

Anadarko - $5.74 billion profit in 2018

  • VP Andrew Seck of this Texan oil and gas company will speak at two sessions.

  • Involved in land grabbing and the forced relocation of thousands in northern Mozambique in connection with its new $50 billion LNG terminal.

  • Forced to pay more than $5 billion in 2015 for environmental clean-up after being sued by the US government.20

  • Spent around $2 million lobbying Washington in both 2017 and 2018, and contributed some $500,000 during the 2018 midterm elections.21

 

Fluxys - €54.5 million profit in 2018

  • The publicly-owned Belgium gas transporter will take the floor twice at Flame.

  • Major shareholder in the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the last leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, for which it has lobbied the EU alongside the authoritarian Azerbaijani government.22

  • Its LNG terminals receive fracked gas from the US and gas from the Russian Arctic.

  • Chairman Daniël Termont is a Flemish Socialist Party politician who claimed to be a climate champion while Mayor of Ghent.

 

What now?

Join the fight against gas and corporate impunity! Get in touch with Corporate Europe Observatory and the Gastivists for more information. Let’s make sure there’s no Flame Conference #26!

Footnotes

1tps://www.nam.nl/english-information.html

2https://www.boell.de/sites/default/files/a-crack-in-the-shell_april-2018.pdf?dimension1=startseite

3http://www.foeeurope.org/see-you-in-court-Shell-050419

4https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/News-2018/February-2018/Nigerian-villagers-vow-to-take-fight-over-Shell-oi

5https://www.reuters.com/article/us-shell-nigeria/dutch-prosecutors-target-shell-over-nigeria-oil-deal-idUSKCN1QI3TZ

6https://downtoearthmagazine.nl/the-netherlands-helps-shell-profit-from-gas-in-dirt-poor-mozambique/

7http://www.rosalux.eu/fileadmin/ user_upload/Powerpoints/Howarth-Cornell-Natural-gas-methane-after-cop21.pdf 

8https://1bps6437gg8c169i0y1drtgz-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2016.09.14_Mozambique_LNG_Trip_Report.pdf

9https://www.ran.org/the-understory/lng-destroys-villages/

10https://www.banktrack.org/project/mozambique_lng/pdf

11http://www.turnerandtownsend.com/en/insights/momentum-grows-in-mozambique-mega-gas-projects-but-multiple-challenges-lie-ahead/

12Calculation of Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe, based on numbers by https://alsi.gie.eu/#/

13https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/25/who-really-needs-the-krk-lng-terminal-view

14https://lobbyfacts.eu/representative/5c3fbbd9f4ec4a5684955ce51301502f/shell-companies

15https://www.boell.de/sites/default/files/a-crack-in-the-shell_april-2018.pdf?dimension1=startseite

16https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/07/10/what-shellknew-and-how-it-was-used-stall-international-climate-change-negotiations

17https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/16/bp-dropped-green-energy-projects-worth-billions-to-focus-on-fossil-fuels

18https://bankwatch.org/project/southern-gas-corridor-euro-caspian-mega-pipeline

19https://influencemap.org/report/How-Big-Oil-Continues-to-Oppose-the-Paris-Agreement-38212275958aa21196dae3b76220bddc

20http://investors.anadarko.com/financials

21https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000459

22https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/the_great_gas_lock_in_english_.pdf