Just as Tantawi expelled the protesters from Tahrir Square in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak, refused to punish those who had harmed the protesters (and has in fact begun a crackdown on the protesters themselves), and left the neoliberal policies of the former government mostly intact, so we will soon see Libya settle down after its childish outburst against the status quo. After all, revolution is bad for business.
Those darned Arabs and their revolutions… Gee, they need to grow up, don’t they? They could take a few pointers from our Democrats.
The fighting hasn’t even ceased in Tripoli, but the oil companies are right outside the gates, waiting to be let back into the country to suckle at the teat of largest fossil fuel cash cow (ugly image, I know) in Africa:
As Reuters reported Monday night, the Italian oil company Eni SpA has already sent staff into the country to evaluate the oil facilities. The Dutch company Shell, the French company SA, and Qatar’s national oil company are also eager to get in.
The people haven’t even had the chance to enjoy the illusion that their actual, in-every-sense-of-the-word revolution was worth it, that all the blood and loss and devastation was for something, that now they get to rule themselves, and already there are oil speculators in their country. Wow, markets are efficient, aren’t they?
It’s not just the oil companies, either. The so-called National Transitional Council has not only had no real hand in the push on Tripoli, it was even willing to try to compel the rebels to halt their advance if Gaddafi would accept an offer of safe passage out of Libya. This at the eleventh hour when victory in Tripoli was all but past.
The self-appointed Transitional Council, the Guardian reports, includes “several people who only recently defected from Gaddafi’s government.” Such as, for instance, Mustafa Abd El Jalil, the chair of the NTC, who was also Gaddafi’s former Minister of Justice. He defied Gaddafi and defected, sure, but let’s face it – wouldn’t you?
If you haven’t guessed yet, just think which company in the whole wild world of sports shouldn’t be getting dick from this government. Sure, I knew you could….
First Deepwater Drilling Permit Since BP Spill Goes to … a Well Co-Owned by BP
Offshore drilling regulators this week approved the first deepwater drilling permit since BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, and as many have pointed out, it’s going to a well owned and operated by Noble Energy.
But here’s a lesser-noticed fact, which Reuters reported today: BP co-owns the well—46.5 percent of it, to be exact. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the revamped offshore drilling agency, made no mention of BP’s ownership of the well in itspress release, which touted the newly approved permit as a “an important step towards safely developing deepwater energy supplies offshore.”
(BP confirmed with us its stake in the well, but referred further questions about its involvement in operating the well and its expected revenue to Noble Energy.)
Regulators had asked oil companies to prove their ability to contain oil spills occurring in deep water before granting any more permits for deepwater drilling, and two systems have been proposed—one by a company called Helix Energy Solutions and another by the Marine Well Containment Company, a group of oil companies led by Exxon. Just last month, Bromwich said that neither system was ready yet and allowing deepwater drilling would be “simply irresponsible.” He stated this week that Noble—which has acontract with Helix—”is capable of containing a subsea blowout.”
“This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur,” said agency chief Michael Bromwich. He said the agency expects more deepwater permits to be approved in the “coming weeks and months.”
Per usual, there’s some more at the link.
I’m beginning to wonder if the current regime is even remotely capable of experiencing embarrassment.