News, April 2006, To see today's News, click here: www.aljazeerah.info
Bush and Rice Statements about War on Iran Behind Pushing Oil Prices to $75 Per Barrel
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah, April 22, 2006
There have been persistent statements from President Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, that all options are on the table, a conflict terminology phrase that means war on Iran is an option to deny Iran nuclear technology.
President Bush was blunt in several occasions saying that the US would go to war to defend Israel. The context was to deny Iran the nuclear technology that may threaten Israeli nuclear hegemony in the Middle East.
The persistence of these statements together with daily news about US military preparations and plans left no doubt that the US is going to invade Iran, or at least attack it.
Iranian leaders have confirmed many times that they would retaliate to any US attack with all their force.
These statements and countrerstatements have caused the oil market to go wild reaching to $75 per barrel of crude oil.
These wild prices of oil have created huge wealth in the coffers of US-EU oil companies and the in the coffers of oil-exporting states, which use the dollar and the Euro as their foreign exchange mediums.
All this leads to a very serious conclusion that all these threats of war and the wars and invasions of the petro-land in the Middle East aim at pushing oil prices as high as possible. The end outcome is filling the coffers of the ruling classes in the US-EU and their client rulers in the regions.
When Saddam Hussain complained about Kuwait-US conspiracy in 1990, oil price was $13 per barrel. All what he wanted was $18 per barrel. But this would not satisfy George Bush Sr., who made the Kuwait War decision in 1990, driving oil prices up after the 1991 War, and ever since.
George Bush Jr. has driven the oil price from about $40 to $75 per barrel today, and he still has two more years to go. Only God knows how much the price of oil will be when he leaves office in January 2009.
Sean Hewitt argued that these wars are designed to enrich people who make war decisions personally. For more about the Hewitt's argument, read:
See the Reuters report below as a background:
Oil's top brass talk prices at summit
Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:32 AM ET
By Peg Mackey and Janet McBride
DOHA (Reuters) - Chief executives of the world's top oil firms met ministers from the biggest producers and consumers on Saturday as record crude prices of above $75 a barrel added urgency to consumers' calls for more supply investment.
A four-year rally, fueled by disruptions from the oilfield to the refinery gate, has led to bumper profits for Exxon Mobil , Royal Dutch Shell and BP and billions of dollars in oil revenues for producers like Saudi Arabia.
But consumers -- from the world's largest energy user the United States to the developing economies of Africa -- feel vulnerable. Worries over Iran's exports and crises in Iraq and Nigeria have pushed oil to levels that threaten economic growth.
"I expect in the medium term, two to three years, oil prices will remain high," Paulo Scaroni, chief executive of Italy's ENI , told reporters.
The talks with business leaders will fill the first day of three days of consumer-producer discussions aimed at steering oil away from its inflation-adjusted high of above $80 a barrel, touched in 1980, the year after the Iranian revolution.
Chief executives of Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron and Occidental were among those at the talks which run from April 22 to 24, along with Total's exploration and production head.
Government ministers from 65 countries, including top consumer the United States and OPEC producers, were also here.
Few expect agreement on how to tackle high fuel costs.
Consumer governments are urging international oil companies to spend more on producing and refining oil and they want major exporters like Saudi Arabia to lift barriers to investment.
"(The price) is a lot to do with psychology and not much to do with fundamentals," said Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell. "There is no demand unmet in the world."
Irked members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries point out that they have raised oil output by more than 10 percent over the past six years. Top exporter Saudi Arabia is spending billions of dollars on new oilfields.
U.S. ON BACK FOOT
Some OPEC delegates here say U.S. foreign policy is partly responsible for today's record prices.
Libya's top oil official Shokri Ghanem said fears of U.S. military action against Iran, the world's fourth biggest crude exporter, had added up to $15 to the cost of a barrel of oil.
Other producers blame a lack of planning in consumer nations, particularly the United States, which uses a quarter of the world's oil and over 40 percent of its gasoline but has not built a new refinery on its soil for decades.
The planned introduction of new, cleaner gasoline in the United States this summer may lead to short-term supply disruptions, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said on Friday.
He will have an opportunity to answer the United States' critics when he arrives in Doha later this weekend.
"We are worried about supply in general throughout the world and particularly of gasoline and particularly in the United States," Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, told Reuters.
Consumers' calls for more spending to satisfy consumption would stand a better chance of being met if multinationals and the nations straddling the world's reserves worked together -- something major oil firms are beginning to recognize.
They have their sights on the low-cost energy in Middle East fields. Locked out of OPEC countries by nationalization in the 1970s, they have fought ever since to return.
"We've all got to work hard to make sure there are no artificial barriers to getting to the energy supplies the world needs," Britain's Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks told reporters.
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