The Pipe: another oil company, another offshore controversy

This is not exactly the belle époque for oil and gas companies.  Since the disaster on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig began on 20th April 2010, between 30,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude oil have reportedly been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day and the problem has been so out of control that BP was thought to be facing backrupcy by mid-June.  We heard this morning that this flow has been slowed for now, but we’ve had false hope before and the well-documented efforts to solve this problem are ongoing.

However, this is not the only energy company causing trouble for locals along their coastline.  A new Irish documentary called The Pipe debuted last weekend at the Galway Film Fleadh to two full houses and walked away with the Best Documentary award.  The producers describe the film as the “story of a community tragically divided, and how they deal with a pipe that could bring economic prosperity or destruction of a way of life shared for generations”.  Following the personal journeys of people from the town of Rossport and Shell to Sea campaigners, the film is likely to reveal a terrifying level of intimidation and brutality which is more akin to a dictatorship that a modern democracy, as Royal Dutch Shell and Enterprise Oil Consortium attempt to bring gas ashore from the Corrib Gas Field, 80 km offshore.

Locals have been more than aware of the story for years.  Shell intends to bring gas ashore and refine it along a beautiful, remote stretch of coastline, rather than doing so at sea.  Many of the more traditionally minded locals don’t fancy it.  The government wants it.  Fishermen and protesters are attacked by masked men and brutalised by police.  A sad and frankly terrifying story about the way big companies deal with small communities.

This is a potentially explosive documentary revealing a struggle which many have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to.  See it if you get the chance.  It’s on my list.  The following clip gives you a flavour of the dramatic showdown.


  1. Looks very good. It’s on my list too now.

    Comment by Blackwatertown — July 19, 2010 @ 1:50 pm
  2. Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.

    Comment by The Blogs Rocket — July 21, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

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