Politics of Oil #ukenergypolitics

Owen Logan, 'The Inverted Coalmine'

Owen Logan, ‘The Inverted Coalmine’

The Politics of Oil and Gas in a Changing UK conference kicks off tomorrow at the University of Aberdeen. I’m looking forward to chairing the session on ‘Global Responsibilities’ on Thursday, taking up questions of Corporate Social Responsibility and the role and responsibilities of the Universities in relation to the global energy industry.

In the meantime, I’m working on a temporary exhibition for Thursday, showcasing examples of some of the collaborative work carried out in Aberdeen and beyond to document and assess the socio-historical importance of the oil industry and the politics of oil.




CTE LOGO‘Capturing the Energy’ was established to encourage companies to make provision for keeping the most important records as their operations evolve, ensuring that they can be safely stored, in an archive repository, so that they can be made accessible for current public research, and for future generations. ‘Capturing the Energy’ has the support of government and is now included in DECC’s Decommissioning Guidelines.

The hub of the archives network is at the University of Aberdeen, which has strong links with the sector.

Works on Show:

  • Selected Films from the Scottish Screen Archive
  • Selected Images from the Special Collections Centre, University of Aberdeen




lives in the oil industry screen grab‘Lives in the Oil Industry’ was initiated by The British Library National Life Story Collection and the University of Aberdeen. It is a work of conservation and preservation of the personally experienced culture and history of the UK’s involvement in arguably the twentieth century’s most important industry.

Work on Show:

  • Janet Stewart, No Place, Like Home, 2012 (Audio-Installation)




434-flammable-societiesFunded by the Research Council of Norway, Flammable Societies set out to explore the way in which the current concerns for social responsibility in the international oil and gas industry are transferred into concrete sub and national level development initiatives, as well as the results of these projects on local communities that neighbor and are dependent on the oil and gas industry. The project studied how the common example of conflict from oil can be avoided, identifying and discussing the cases and circumstances where this has been possible.

Flammable Societies offers valuable material for students and researchers concerned with politics, inequality and poverty in resource-rich countries. Among the key critical issues the book highlights is the need to understand the politics of social territorialism as a response to exclusionary geopolitics.

Work on Show:

  • Owen Logan, Flammable Societies, 2011 (Photo-Essay)




Developed by the Living Earth Foundation to contribute to the European Commission’s objective of raising awareness of global development issues, enhancing relations between the European Union and less developed countries, and building support for the Millennium Development Goals, the project focuses on schools in Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and Aberdeen City and Shire in Scotland.

By working with students and teachers at schools in the two areas, the project will result in the development of new curriculum materials that address issues of development through the lens of oil and gas development, it being the predominant industry in both of the two regions. Materials will be developed by the teachers and students who will be using them, emphasising a cross-curricula approach, with multi-media, active learning methodologies and live links between schools in the two parts of the world.

Work on show:

  • Selected films from the Power Politics workshops. Work in progress.
  • Comics from Power Politics school workshops. Work in progress.




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