OUSU Council passed a motion on Wednesday evening to “not co-operate with the [government’s] Prevent strategy”.The motion, which comes following a contrasting vote in June by OUSU’s Board of Trustees to abide by the law in relation to Prevent, mandates “OUSU Offi cers to not co-operate with the Prevent strategy or serve on any bodies overseeing the implementation of Prevent, and to boycott it as far as legally possible.”Council also resolved to work on combatting the anti-terrorism policy “and its implementation on campus”, as well as to mandate the provision of support and assistance to “any students who feel harassed or persecuted due to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.”Prevent obliges bodies including universities to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” Extremism is defi ned in the Act as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy [and] the rule of law.”Aliya Yule, a third-year PPEist at Wadham and the proposer of the motion at this week’s OUSU Council, told Cherwell, “It is vital that we oppose Prevent for a number of reasons. Not only does it attack academic freedom and stifl e critical debate and thinking, this legislation is a thinly veiled attack on black and Muslim communities.“Under Prevent, indicators of ‘extremism’ include ‘criticism of Western foreign policy’ and ‘opposition to British values’. It recommends monitoring students if they seem ‘withdrawn’ or want ‘political change’ – which could be any and all of us with an opinion, or if we’re stressed or dealing with mental health issues.“This comes at a time when the government is pushing through an ‘anti-Islamic extremism’ agenda, and already under the guise of Prevent, Muslim students have been monitored, harassed and reported.”Cherwell understands that OUSU is not currently co-operating with Prevent; the passage of this motion cements this position into OUSU’s long-term policy on the matter.This motion also follows NUS Conference’s passage of Motion 517, which mandates the national student union, “to encourage Unions and institutions to not comply with or legitimize Prevent and to develop guidelines for Unions on eff ective non-cooperation with the Act and its proposals.”The policy was due to come into force by 21st September of this year throughout UK universities.The government’s new Extremism Analysis Unit has claimed that last year at least 70 events featuring hate speakers were held on UK campuses.Universities Minister Jo Johnson said in a statement, “It is disappointing to see overt opposition to the Prevent programme [by the NUS]…The legal duty that will be placed on universities and colleges highlights the importance that the government places on this.”Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasised, “All public institutions have a role to play in rooting out and challenging extremism. It is not about oppressing free speech or stifl ing academic freedom, it is about making sure that radical views and ideas are not given the oxygen they need to flourish.”
Romanian operator Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG) has awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning (EPCIC) contract for all offshore and onshore facilities for the Midia gas development project off Romania to GSP Offshore.GSP Offshore has also been awarded a development drilling contract for the Midia development.Announcing the contract awards last Friday, November 23 BSOG said the contracts had been awarded in cooperation with its co-venture partners Petro Ventures Resources and Gas Plus International.The company added that the execution of the contract, subject to final investment decision (FID), covered the procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of the complete subsea gas production system over the Doina field.A part of the deal also entails construction, installation, and commissioning of a new unmanned production platform located over the Ana field which will be built at GSP’s fabrication yard in Constanta as well as a subsea pipeline system that will link the platform to shore, the onshore pipeline, and the new gas treatment plant that will be built in Vadu village.BSOG also said that a contract was signed for development drilling of the five production wells, one of which is a subsea well at the Doina field while the remaining four are platform wells at the Ana field. The wells will be drilled using the GSP Uranus jack-up rig.According to the company, building the entire project infrastructure is estimated to take two years with 70% of the costs in relation to these contracting activities, which makes up the majority of the total installed project cost of $400 million, is estimated to be of Romanian content.Mark Beacom, CEO of BSOG stated: “In line with our objective to bring this project to FID we have recently announced the signing of our transportation agreement with Transgaz and a gas sales agreement with Engie.“We are now very pleased to announce that we have concluded this EPCIC contract and Development Drilling Contract with the largest Romanian offshore contractor for our pioneering MGD project that could provide 10% of Romania’s gas needs […].”Gabriel Comanescu, CEO of GSP, added: “GSP entered the offshore construction business in 2009 and had gained valuable experience in similar projects in other countries. Our local and global expertise in both drilling and offshore construction, together with our assets and capabilities in Romania enables us to successfully deliver the MGD project.”The Midia Gas Development Project comprises the Ana and Doina gas fields (320 Bcf P50 contingent resources) which were discovered in 2007 and 1995 respectively. Both are of latest Miocene to Dacian age, shallow marine sandstone reservoirs, some 120 kilometers offshore Romania, in the XV Midia Shallow area where the water depths are around 70 meters.