The BBC: Inventing new oil companies since 2014.

I knew that this BBC article would be bollocks as soon as I saw the headline: Halliburton reports $622m profits. The first thing you see is this picture:

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With the caption: Halliburton was one of the contractors involved in the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010″

And you know immediately that the point of this article is to say “evil, polluting American company makes enormous profits” and allow all the assorted lefties who think the BBC is a national treasure to nod smugly at this further proof that capitalists are raping the planet.

Naturally there is no mention in the article that the US Department of Justice closed its investigation into Halliburton’s role in the Macondo blowout over 18 months ago, imposing a fine of $200k for no more than the unauthorised deletion of a computer record.  Now personally I think this was a complete whitewash on the part of the US government protecting one of its own and dumping as much blame as possible on BP, but the BBC doesn’t say that either.  It just doesn’t mention anything, possibly in the hope that its readers will assume Halliburton continues to shoulder responsibility of some sort.

But the article doesn’t even get the basic facts straight:

US oil exploration firm Halliburton has reported better-than-expected first quarter profits, helped by robust drilling activity in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Angola.

Oil exploration firm?  Halliburton is an oilfield services provider, it does not carry out any exploration of its own, as a brief glance at its corporate website would tell you.  Secondly:

The world’s second-largest oil company said net income for the three months to the end of March was $622m (£370m).

God only knows where they got this from.  Aside from Halliburton not being an oil company, even if it were, with a market capitalisation of about $53bn it is an order of magnitude smaller than ExxonMobil ($436bn) or Chevron ($237bn). I’m not even sure it’s the world’s second largest anything, being as far as I know the world’s largest oilfield services provider.  But then this is the BBC, so who knows what they’re waffling on about?  Still, the narrative fits: polluting American oil company makes giant profits.

People are threatened with jail to pay for this shite.

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10 Responses to The BBC: Inventing new oil companies since 2014.

  1. dearieme says:

    ” I think this was a complete whitewash on the part of the US government protecting one of its own and dumping as much blame as possible on BP”: yes, I expect the US will pay for its decline into Third World behaviour like this. ‘Shake-down artists’ is the expression, I believe.

  2. It was a BBC news article that led me to cancel the direct debit six years ago. I can’t even remember what the news article was about, but I haven’t paid them a penny since.

  3. Alex K. says:

    “I’m not even sure it’s the world’s second largest anything, being as far as I know the world’s largest oilfield services provider.”

    Schlumberger must be the largest OFS firm, both in terms of market cap ($133 bln) and revenues ($45 bln vs Halliburton’s $30 bln in 2013).

  4. Tim Newman says:

    @ Alex K,

    Yes, fair point, I didn’t realise Schlumberger had overtaken them. I don’t know when this happened, both companies mainly operate in support of drilling which I don’t get involved in, but I suspect it came about when Halliburton sold off KBR.

  5. Umbongo says:

    The BBC must read this site: “US exploration firm” is now (18:30 BST) “US oilfield firm” and “second largest oil company” is now “the company”.

  6. Tim Newman says:

    @ Umbongo,

    Thanks for that, I’ll send them an invoice. Although they probably got told to make the correction by Halliburton themselves.

  7. Alex K. says:

    Oddly, they missed one extra opportunity to badmouth Halliburton: “pressure pumping” includes hydrofracking.

  8. dearieme says:

    “People are threatened with jail to pay for this shite.” But it’s going to be decriminalised, isn’t it? Have I got that right?

  9. Tim Newman says:

    @dearieme,

    I have no idea! I didn’t hear that.

  10. Surreptitious Evil says:

    Sighs, no, unfortunately. What we now have is a proposal tabled (replacing the original decriminalisation one) which commits the government to a review of the sanctions within 15 months of the Deregulation Act becoming the Deregulation Bill. With a rider saying that if they decide, then, to decriminalise, it can be done by SI rather than primary legislation.

    Cue much BBC handwringing about having to reduce Eastenders to one show per week, only being able to show football on 17 simultaneous digital channels and not being able to afford Jeremy Paxman …

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