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31 May 2022


Norway: 8 NGOs file OECD complaint against Aker BP & Aker ASA over acquisition of Lundin Energy

"Lundin Energy: Swedwatch files complaints against Aker BP and Aker ASA for failing to comply with the OECD guidelines", 31 May 2022

On March 31, the AGM of Lundin Energy voted in favor of selling the company’s oil- and gas assets to Aker BP. If the deal takes place, Lundin Energy will lack sufficient resources to remedy the thousands of people who were impacted by the company’s operations during the civil war in Sudan.

Today, Swedwatch together with seven NGOs are filing complaints against the buyer Aker BP and its major owner Aker ASA, for failing to comply with OECD guidelines...

The complaints are filed with OECD’s National Contact Point in Norway, and state that the buying companies did not perform any analysis on how the acquisition of Lundin Energy's assets affects those impacted or their chances of receiving remedy...

Together with the other complainants, Swedwatch requests that the acquisition is postponed until it can be completed in a manner that takes the human rights of those impacted into account. The complaint also requests that the impacts of Lundin Energy’s operations in Sudan are thoroughly assessed through consultations with those impacted and that the companies ensure that the human rights impacts are remedied – either by Aker BP or by retaining sufficient funds in Lundin Energy.

In November of 2021, the chairman of the board and former CEO of Lundin Energy were indicted for complicity in grave war crimes committed when the company was prospecting for oil in Sudan between 2000 and 2003 during the civil war...

Lundin Energy has stated that their current oil assets in Norway, that are now being sold to Aker, were purchased with the profits from their operations in Sudan. So, the connection really is very clear, says Olof Björnsson [researcher at Swedwatch].

Swedwatch welcomes the trial and the fact that the events during the oil wars in Sudan are finally tried in court. But even if the two men are convicted, it is only the around 30 plaintiffs in the court case that may be compensated. A conviction will not compensate the thousands of people who still live with the consequences of the company's actions during the civil war. Providing victims with remedy will be even more unfeasible should the Aker acquisition go through.

- The problem with the merger is that the money is moved to another company, while the human rights impacts remain the responsibility of Lundin Energy. Thus, Aker BP is playing a role in preventing those impacted from receiving remedy, says Olof Björnsson...