The Oily Business
It's reassuring how language seems to adapt and change.
As current events and forces shape our lives,
Words take on new meaning and the truth is revealed.
When the Railroad Robber Barons were stealing everybody blind,
and throwing their substantial weight around in the late 1800's,
the noun "Railroad" became a pejorative verb.
And for some time now, "oily" has not been what you want to be called.
If a deal is oily, it is a crooked deal.
To wit, Our Hometown Newspaper led on the top right yesterday
with a terrible tale about the oil scandal in Iraq.
Here is the Reuters version.
Oil-for-food probe implicates 2,000 firms
By Evelyn Leopold and Irwin Arieff
Thu Oct 27, 2005
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - More than 2,000 of the foreign companies that did business with Iraq in the U.N. oil-for-food program made illicit payments to Saddam Hussein's government, a report on the program said on Thursday.
The U.N.-established Independent Inquiry Committee led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker reported that Saddam diverted some $1.8 billion in kickbacks and surcharges.
The program, which began in December 1996 and ended in 2003, was aimed at easing the impact of U.N. sanctions imposed in 1990 after Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait. It achieved considerable success in feeding Iraqis, and allowed Iraq to sell oil in order to pay for food, medicine and other goods.
The report said companies in 66 countries paid kickbacks on selling Iraq humanitarian goods, and companies from 40 countries paid surcharges on oil contracts but the U.N. Security Council took little action. "
Let's see, 1996 to 2003 is 7 years into 1.8 billion is about 250 million a year.
Such greed and corruption.
Greed and Corruption in the Oil business?
I am shocked.
And then there is this story.
Exxon Mobil Profits Soar on Surging Oil and Gas Prices
By Vikas Bajav and Jad Mouawad
New York Times
October 27, 2005
Exxon Mobil and other energy companies reported strong gains in their third-quarter profits today on surging prices of oil and gasoline both before and after the hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast.
The world's largest publicly traded oil company, Exxon Mobil said its earnings jumped 75 percent. Royal Dutch, meanwhile, said its earnings climbed 68 percent, and Marathon Oil said its earnings more than tripled.
Today, Exxon Mobil reported net income of $9.92 billion, or $1.58 a share, in the third quarter, up from $5.68 billion, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 31.9 percent, to $100.7 billion, from $76.38 billion.
This year, Exxon Mobil's nine-month profits - $25 billion - are so far equal to those of 2004, already a record year for the company. Its sales are on track to exceed those of Wal-Mart this year.
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell, the world's third-largest oil company, reported third-quarter net income of $9.03 billion. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $94.7 billion, from $89 billion.
This year is shaping to be an exceptionally lucrative one for the entire oil industry. Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, is expected to post a quarterly profit of $4 billion on Friday.
Among those assailing the oil companies is Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota, who introduced legislation last month to impose a windfall tax on oil companies.
But Exxon bristled at suggestions that oil companies should be taxed more."
Then there is this curious story and testimony from the CEO of Dow Chemical.
US should declare national emergency on NG supplies
Oct. 7, 2005
Shortages may develop for plastic milk and detergent bottles, automobile tires, disposable diaper liners and bread bags because of high natural gas prices and hurricane-hit chemical plants, the head of Dow Chemical Co. said on Thursday.
The US government should help repair damaged natural gas processing plants and declare a "national emergency" to make consumers aware of supply problems triggered by the storms, Liveris said. "Soon the loss of chemical manufacturing in the Gulf will ripple through the economy in the form of shortages and higher prices," Liveris said.
Some of the products that may develop shortages include widely used consumer goods such as plastic bottles and bags, he said. "The short-term outlook for natural gas consumers is grim," he said. "If prices remain at or near current levels, manufacturers will be driven out of the market and many may not return."
Natural gas, a crucial raw material for chemical plants, soared to a record high of $14.75 per million British thermal units in futures trading on Wednesday. Prices fell on Thursday, to around $13.69 per million Btus in midday trading. "
And finally, there is this statement from Hugo Chavez, my favorite oil executive, next to the Bush's pal Oscar Wyatt, who just got indicted in the Iraqi oil scam.
Chavez: World Faces Major Energy Crisis
By CIARAN GILES
Associated Press Writer
Sat Oct 15, 2005
SALAMANCA, Spain - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that the world faces an energy crisis but there is little chance of his country and other OPEC members increasing production because they are already pumping near "their capacity."
"The world will have to get used to a barrel price, I think, of above $50, and energy will have to be saved," he told reporters as leaders from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries met in this central Spanish town.
"We're at the doorway of major energy crisis worldwide," Chavez said. "We'll have to develop other resources such as wind, solar and nuclear energy — naturally for peaceful purposes." He said Venezuela was in talks with Argentina and Brazil regarding nuclear power.
"The cause of the increase in the price is not in the production. It's partly the intermediaries who make things dearer. It's also because of the increase in demand and the irrational capitalist consumerism model," he said.
"The United States for example, with scarcely five percent of the world's population, uses almost 25 percent of the petroleum and combustion fuels produced in the world," he said."
Small wonder the Administration wants to start a war with him too.
Ever since Rockefeller blew up his competitors to gain control
of the refining, and then set up a nice foundation
to make it all feel and look respectable,
the oil business has been, well,
Before they are finished with their countless evils,
they may even try to change the name of the Sabbath.
Somehow, Oilyday just doesn't sound right.
Fits the preachers though.
Speaking of church, Fitzmass is near.
Rove escapes for now though.
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