Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Fossil Fuels

BP and Shell Investors Want BP and Shell Out of Canadian Oil Sands

When environmentalists ask you to do something, you might not listen. When concerned citizens ask you to do something, you might not listen. When scientists ask you to do something, you might not listen. But when your investors ask you to do something, maybe then you’ll listen.

BP and Shell investors are demanding that they leave the Canadian oil sands alone. Why? For the bottom line (as well as all of the moral environmental reasons).

But does it look like BP and Shell will actually listen?

BP Investors Challenge Getting Oil from Canadian Oil Sands


“The Co-operative Asset Management, the Unison Staff Pension Scheme, a group of clients from Rathbone Greenbank and the COIF Charities Investment Fund are all signatories to the resolution which tells BP not to commit $10bn (£6.4bn) to its Sunrise oil sands development,” Tom Young of BusinessGreen reports.

Basically, these investors don’t support getting oil from the Canadian oil sands because processing that oil is more expensive and more environmentally damaging than traditional oil exploration.

“We believe that environmental costs may make an expensive business prohibitively so, without fundamentally addressing the issue of a large net rise in emissions,” said Niall O’Shea, head of responsible investing at the Co-operative Asset Management. “BP should reassure shareholders that what they’re embarking on is fully costed, prudent and can withstand a more carbon-constrained world.”

Shell Investors Challenge Getting Oil from Canadian Oil Sands

A similar thing came to the forefront last month with Shell. Shell investors announced they would file a resolution demanding more information on the risks associated with Canadian oil sands projects. A little softer perhaps, but along the same lines.

BP and Shell Likely to Change Course?

Unfortunately, words from the men on top show that BP and Shell are unlikely to agree to these investors’ demands or requests.

Apparently, previous BP chief executive Lord Browne of Madingley said he would not invest in oil sands. But the new BP chief executive Tony Hayward seems to have different plans. He told the Guardian that he saw no problem making such investments.

“Canadian heavy oil is going to be a very important part of America’s energy, ” he said.

Similarly, regarding the Shell case, Shell told the Guardian: “The resolution is basically a request for further information around the economics and other aspects of our oil sands operations. The resolution is submitted by shareholders representing some 0.15 per cent of our total outstanding shares.” It doesn’t sound like Shell is looking to change course here, just to explain why they have no problem extracting oil from the oil sands.

We will see what will come of these two cases. But it looks like even concerned investors can’t get the top guys calling the shots to change their plans on this.

Image Credit: vaXzine via flickr under a CC license

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


You May Also Like


After stumbling on biofuel, algae finds its footing and steps up to help the concrete industry cut its carbon footprint, too.

Climate Change

Steel will not remotely be a constraint for global transformation of energy over the coming decades. We make vastly more of it per year...

Clean Power

With more scrapping and more direct reduction using lower carbon technologies such as Midrex' DRI and HYBRIT every decade, and the likely creation of those...

Clean Transport

A new type of autonomous electric train is on track to electrify the US freight rail network and push diesel trucks off the highways,...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.