Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Imperialist War Against Libya: Is It All About Petroleum?

Libyan labyrinth: Is it all about petroleum

By Azhar Masood
Published: August 25, 2011

The beginning of Arab Spring was indicative of a new Lawrence of Arabia styled game by white nations to completely subjugate oil-rich Arab nations. Starting off from Tunisia, removing dictatorship of Hosni Mobarik of Egypt, knocking Libya, creating complete unrest in Syria, supporting uprising in Yemen, creating South Christian Sudan appeared a well thought out game jointly played by MI-6, CIA, Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service, BND, French Direction Générale de la SécuritéExtérieure and Nato combined of intelligence collectors prepared the ground for re-shaping or re-maping of oil-rich zones of Middle East and upper Sahara.

This time methodology so adopted by white nations viz Middle East and upper Sahara remained like that of post-World War-1 with clear objectives to grab oil and energy zones of Asian regions to ensure ‘High Life” in the United States and Europe.

Nato is already fed up of its four PIGSL, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, countries with sick economies but part of the European Union. Nato’s worry remains 4 PIGS and fallout of American economy with particular reference of British down-sliding economy.

Though on a chess board unfolding such a game on Asian continent and with or without making a serious search for a hypothetical analysis, so far, it went well in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Where it will end few chess-masters know.

Efforts remain to grab the oil reservoirs of the Middle East and Central Asian regions.

In the pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction US and British troops over ran oil rich Iraq; occupied it; hanged its President. In a hurry Dick Cheny’s Halliburton Oil Company took legitimate or ill-legitimate control of which was developed and marketed by Chinese Catic Oil Company and French Marketing ‘TOTAL’.

Here the United States was so selfish it cared hoots for French and German interests in Iraq.

Lately I have been informed some British oil companies to get concessions in Kirkuk region of Iraq. British oil companies obviously include British Petroleum and Brit-Oil.

Recently declassified papers on Iraq reveal plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show. The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain’s involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair’s cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”. But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture.

Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”

The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”

After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office’s Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in, Iraq, for the sake of their long-term future. We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time”.

BP was concerned that if Washington allowed Total Fina Elf’s existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world’s leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take “big risks” to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.

Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.

The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq’s reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil, bought up by companies such as BP and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company), whose joint consortium alone stands to make £403m ($658m) profit per year from the Rumaila field in southern Iraq.

Last week, Iraq raised its oil output to the highest level for almost decade, 2.7 million barrels a day – seen as especially important at the moment given the regional volatility and loss of Libyan output. Many opponents of the war suspected that one of Washington’s main ambitions in invading Iraq was to secure a cheap and plentiful source of oil.

Mr Muttitt, whose book Fuel on the Fire is published, said: “Before the war, the Government went to great lengths to insist it had no interest in Iraq’s oil. These documents provide the evidence that give the lie to those claims. We see that oil was in fact one of the Government’s most important strategic considerations, and it secretly colluded with oil companies to give them access to that huge prize.”

Lady Symons, 59, later took up an advisory post with a UK merchant bank that cashed in on post-war Iraq reconstruction contracts. Last month she severed links as an unpaid adviser to Libya’s National Economic Development Board after Colonel Gaddafi started firing on protesters. Last night, BP and Shell declined to comment.

The game is all about oil but its control must be in American or British hands. This is exactly what the deeper zone of the emerging scenario suggests.

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