Lundin Oil/Petroleum in Sudan

Updated: 14th May 2013.

Many people in Sweden are working hard to expose the truth about Swedish oil company Lundin’s links to the atrocities that have been perpetrated on the civilian population living in their oil concessions in South Sudan during 1997–2003.

These efforts have received a lot of media attention in Sweden, together with the publication of investigative books and the release of documentary films.

More recently the campaign has widened to include Norway, as Lundin's profits from the sale of its Sudanese licences in 2003 were invested in Norwegian licences in the North Sea.

As most articles relating to Lundin are in Swedish and Norwegian, they can be difficult to locate for non-Swedish/Norwegian speakers, and are therefore summarised here with relevant links.

Use www.translate.google.com to translate articles from Swedish, Norwegian or Danish to English. English translations of some of these articles are available on the ECOS Unpaid Debt website.

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12th May 2013: Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's former involvement with Lundin Oil/Petroleum is criticised by Björn Wiman, the chief culture editor of Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Read article in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

 

8th May 2013: The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority Finansinspektionen asks the Swedish Stock Exchange to look into whether Lundin Oil/Petroleum mislead shareholders and the market over the situation in Block 5A in Sudan during 1997-2003. Read article in Swedish newspaper Göteborgs Posten.

 

7th May 2013: Bloodhound delivers its 110 page report Justifying Blood Money to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority Finansinspektionen with the demand to investigate whether Lundin Oil/Petroleum mislead shareholders and the market over the situation in Block 5A in Sudan during 1997-2003. Read article in Swedish newspaper Expressen.

 

3rd May 2013: The Swedish section of Médecins Sans Frontières Läkare Utan Gränser withdraws its contract with insurance company SPP after becoming aware that they had recently invested massively in Lundin Petroleum. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

18th April 2013: At a conference on remote sensing held in Stockholm, satellite analyst Erik Prins presents an updated analysis of images of Lundin's Block 5A in Sudan. These confirm numerous reports that large numbers of civilians were displaced during 1997–2003. Read article in Swedish on the Global Reporting website.

 

25th February 2013: Norwegian fund Folketrygdfondet voted against a motion at Lundin Petroleum's 2012 AGM to carry out an independent investigation into whether the company had contributed to war crimes in Sudan. Read article in Norwegian newspaper Aftenbladet.

 

23rd February 2013: Norwegian journalists Elisabeth Seglem and Ina Gundersen present a comprehensive article describing the controversy about Lundin's activities in Block 5A in Sudan during 1997–2003, with details about how the company bought into Norwegian oilfields using profits from the sale of Block 5A. Read article in Norwegian newspaper Aftenbladet.

 

23rd February 2013: Norwegian journalists Elisabeth Seglem and Ina Gundersen present Lundin Petroleum answers to questions about the Swedish police investigation of possible Swedish links to war crimes perpetrated in the Block 5A concession in Sudan. Read article in Norwegian newspaper Aftenbladet.

 

15th January 2013: Norwegian journalists Iselin Stalheim Møller and Bente Rognan Gravklev discover that whilst there are strict guidelines for how the Norwegian government's oil fund can invest the nation's oil profits, there are no restrictions to prevent blood money being invested in Norwegian oil licenses. Read article in Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

 

11th January 2013: Lundin's blood money profits from the sale of oil concession Block 5A in South Sudan were used to buy a Norwegian oil company and licences. Read article in Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

 

10th November 2012: Swedish journalist Gabriel Byström publishes two articles revealing the many ongoing close links between Lundin Petroleum and the Swedish Foreign Ministry, including directorships in Lundin companies for Swedish Foreign Ministry officials and Foreign Ministry positions for Lundin employees. Read interview with Gabriel Byström in Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, containing links to 2 in-depth articles (requires login to view).

 

5th November 2012: Swedish journalist Petter Bolme investigates the response of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to allegations of war crimes in Lundin's concession in Sudan in 2001, and finds evidence to suggest that senior civil servants attempted to block a government investigation. Read article on Global Reporting's website.

 

15th October 2012: Norway's new Astrup Fearnley museum of modern art is criticised for allowing Lundin to be its main corporate sponsor. Read article on Norwegian TV station NRK's website.

 

12th September 2012: Following the release of Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, Aftonbladet's Leo Lagercrantz reveals the close relationship between Lundin Petroleum and the former Swedish ambassador to Ethiopia, which was encouraged by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

30th May 2012: Swedish pension company Folksam sells its entire 3.8 million share holding in Lundin, amounting to 1.2% of the total capital, in response to recent criticism of the company. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

11th May 2012: A document from Wikileaks reveals that Lundin company Africa Oil violated a UN Security Council weapons embargo by employing armed forces to protect its oil interests in Somalia's Puntland region. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

10th May 2012: Lundin Petroleum AGM held in Stockholm. Over half of Lundin Petroleum's independent shareholders vote in favour of a motion for an independent enquiry into the oil company's activities in Sudan. The vote is however not carried as the Lundin family and directors together own most of the company's shares. Read analysis in Swedish newspaper Dagen.

 

3rd May 2012: On the eve of Lundin Petroleum's AGM, CEO Ashley Heppenstall, rejects the independent motion for an independent enquiry into the oil company's activities in Sudan and tells shareholders to "Trust us or sell your shares.” Read article in Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.

 

29th March 2012: Top Swedish diplomat Jan Eliasson, now Vice Secretary General of the United Nations, offers to use his extensive contacts to assist in securing the release of journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson but is refused by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.


25th March 2012: Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen demands that Norway sells its shares in Lundin. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

21st March 2012: In response to Ian Lundin's acceptance of a request by shareholders of Lundin Petroleum to conduct an investigation in the company's activities in Ethiopia and Sudan, the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan – as a minor shareholder – tables five motions for Lundin's AGM on the 10th May 2012. Read the motions on the ECOS webline.

 

23rd March 2012: A top-secret Government of Sudan letter comes to light, which promises a government-supported militia that the oil companies operating in South Sudan will pay for the clearing of the oilfields. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

22nd March 2012: Swedish academic Johan Brosché of the University of Uppsala counters the claims by brothers Ian and Lukas Lundin that their companies’ policy of working with dictatorships is good for development. Read article in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

 

22nd March 2012: Statement by Swedish State Prosecutor Magnus Elving on progress in the preliminary criminal investigation into possible Swedish involvement in the atrocities in Lundin’s Block 5a oilfield. Read statement on the Swedish State Prosecutor’s office website.

 

9th March 2012: Swedish journalists Jens Christian Brandt and Leo Lagercrantz together with photographer Magnus Wennman return from a visit to South Sudan with testimonies by survivors who were driven off their land in Lundin’s Block 5a concession. Read accounts in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

27th December 2011: Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson are sentenced to 11 years in prison for ‘illegal entry and supporting a terrorist organisation’. Read an account in the Guardian newspaper and a reaction in the New York Times by Nicholas D. Kristof.

 

22nd December 2011: A very good summary of the situation regarding captured Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in English by Swedish journalist Leo Lagercrantz. Read article in English from The Local website.

 

December 2011: Swedish documentarist Maj Wechselmann releases a book ‘It is up to you´ published by Ordfront, which updates Kerstin Lundell's earlier book with new information on Lundin in Sudan and Ethiopia. Read the highly favourable reviews collected on the publisher Ordfront's website.

 

7th December 2011: A colleague reveals that Lundin had read Martin Schibbye’s blog shortly before he was captured in Ethiopia. Read article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

 

1st July 2011: Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye are captured by the Ethiopian army whilst attempting a clandestine entry into Ethiopia to investigate Lundin’s oil concession in the Ogaden. Read details in the Danish magazine Journalisten, published in October 2011.


26th January 2011: Swedish documentarist Maj Wechselmann releases a film “It is up to you” on Lundin in Ethiopia and Sudan. Includes interviews with former German foreign minister Gerhard Baum and British Baroness Christina Cox. See a trailer and read some of the film reviews on Maj Wechselmann's website.

 

14th September 2010: Swedish documentarist Maj Wechselmann releases film ‘Bildt: en trovärdig mann?’ raising questions about whether Carl Bildt's background allows him to be foreign minister. Read about the film and see a preview on Maj Wechselmann's website.

 

21st June 2010: Swedish State Prosecutor Magnus Elving announces that sufficient evidence is now available to warrant a preliminary criminal investigation into the atrocities mentioned by the report 'Unpaid Debt' between 1997 and 2003. Read press release from the Swedish State Prosecutor's office.

 

8th June 2010: Egbert Wesselink, director of the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS), together with Sudanese pastors Revd. James Nimrew and Ramadan Chan, release the report ‘Unpaid Debt’ in Stockholm. Download the report from the ECOS website.


8th June 2010: Report by Danish satellite analyst Erik Prins on behalf the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan presents the results of a detailed investigation of satellite photos of Lundin’s Block 5a oil concession, covering 20 years from 1987 until 2006. Download report from the ECOS website or see the summary on the Prins Engineering website.

 

March 2010: Swedish lawyer Sten de Geer refers Kerstin Lundell’s book ‘Business in Blood and Oil: Lundin Petroleum in Africa’ to the Swedish state prosecutor’s office and demands a criminal investigation. The State Prosecutor contacts ECOS for more information. Read article on the Asia Times website.

 

February 2010: Swedish journalist Kerstin Lundell releases book ‘Business in Blood and Oil: Lundin Petroleum in Africa’, published by Ordfront. First major exposure of the atrocities being perpetrated in Lundin’s oil concession in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region. Read a summary and extract from the book, together with sample reviews on publisher Ordfront's website.


17th April 2007: Newly-appointed Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt and Lundin director Ian Lundin are questioned by Swedish MPs over the role of Lundin in oil concession Block 5a in South Sudan. Read brief account on Swedish TV's website.

 

2003: Human Rights Watch releases their massive and detailed 754 page book 'Sudan, Oil, and Human Rights'. The report contains many pages devoted specifically to the situation in Lundin’s Block 5a oil concession. Download the report from the Human Rights Watch website.

 

April 2002: Médecins Sans Frontières releases its report 'Violence, Health and Access to Aid in Unity State/Western Upper Nile, Sudan', which describes the massive increase in violence suffered by the local population in the Block 5a concession areas from 1998. Download the report from the Médecins Sans Frontières website.

 

March 2001: Further details of atrocities taking place against the local population in Lundin’s Block 5a are described in Christian Aid’s report 'Scorched Earth: Oil and War in Sudan’. Download the report from the UNEP website.

 

May 2000: One of the first mentions of atrocities taking place against the local population in Lundin’s Block 5a oil concession in Amnesty International’s report ‘Sudan: the human price of oil’. Download the report from Amnesty’s website.

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