Friday, 29 June 2007

Exxon shrugs

Oil companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips have told Hugo Chavez to go stuff his oil fields (actually their oil fields that Saint Hugo has nationalised), "signaling their departure from one of the world's largest oil deposits." They've taken their drilling rigs, their technical support, their ingenuity and their prodigious ability to produce oil elsewhere.

Good on them for refusing to sanction Chavez's theft.

UPDATE 1: News you couldn't make up from another irrational collectivist hell-hole: Oil rich Iran is rationing petrol, and irrational Iranians are responding by torching petrol stations! Story here. Talk about 'just burning' to get to the front of the queue!

But the country is awash with oil, so why is it rationing petrol, you ask? Two reasons:
  1. Because petrol in Iran is heavily subsidised to keep the price down (it's about 11 US cents a litre, if you can get it). And when prices are set well below market rates, well, I'll let your twelve-year-old (or a would-be Iranian petrol purchaser) explain to you what happens to demand, and to supply, and just how long the queues get. Shame no twelve-year-olds were around to explain it to Ahmedinejad.
  2. Iran is short of petrol. For years the world's fourth-largest exporter of oil has been importing petrol ! It has to import the stuff because it lacks refining capacity. It lacks refining capacity now because back in 1951 when the Iranian parliament under Mohammed Mossadegh nationalised the oil industry (taking what western oil companies had produced on those empty desert sands and stealing the new-found riches for themselves) the oil refiners either left or were expelled, and the would-be builders of new refineries haven't wanted to risk money building many more. Who would? Iranian Oil Minister Vaziri-Hamaneh conceded recently that the "oil refining industry" of the country -- that is, Iran's Ministry of Petroleum -- urgently needs a 15-billion-dollar investment for its development, and the Iranian oil industry itself needs "93 billion dollars in foreign investments and more than 43 billion dollars in domestic resources by 2014 to boost oil and gas output." In other words, the Iranian government has the begging bowl out because few rational investors want to be seen throwing away their own money, and the Iranian government is spending its ill-gotten oil money on arming the Middle East.
Such is the ongoing history of nationalised industries, and has been ever since this unique form of theft was invented, an ongoing lurch from penury to poverty. So it goes.

UPDATE 2: News from Moscow, from Novosti [hat tip Trevor Loudon]
MOSCOW, June 27 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will arrive in the Russian capital Wednesday. Russian experts said contracts on supplies of new armaments to Venezuela could be signed during the visit... The value of the contracts, depending on the final size of the order, is estimated at $1-2 billion, the paper said, citing its own sources in the defense industry... Venezuela is the world's second-largest importer of Russian military hardware after Algeria. In 2005-2006, it ordered $3.4 billion worth of hardware and weaponry from Russia, including 24 Su-30MK2V Flanker fighters, Tor-M1 air defense missile systems, Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters, and 100,000 AK-103 Kalashnikov assault rifles.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan grocery stores are no longer stocking basic food stuffs.


  1. Two companies have told hugo to get stuffed, but unfortunately, other less principled companies have taken up the shortfall.Personally I hope "their" oil industry falls flat on its face & hugo & his mates learn their lesson quickly for the sake of the country

  2. I see Ahmadinejad has imposed petrol rationing on Iranians and there's rioting with up to 50 petrol stations burned.

    Why are totalitarians such clods?


  3. Nothing like an oilpatch farewell


  4. I see Ahmadinejad has imposed petrol rationing on Iranians and there's rioting with up to 50 petrol stations burned.

    Why are totalitarians such clods?


    It wouldn't be because of religion would it? As if one has to ask.

  5. "It wouldn't be because of religion would it? As if one has to ask."

    Could be. Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Maoism, Radical Islamism, Nationalism.. it all lines up.

    That's the thing about ideologies, they are essentially amoral and anti religion. Religion is just a motivating and manipulative tool for some of them.



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