Sunday, March 27, 2011

Was Gaddafi's Call for Nationalisation of the Oil Sector Behind the No Fly Zone?

In early 2009, Libya's President Muammar Gaddafi told students at Georgetown University, via satellite that the then-low oil prices were unbearable and nationalisation of Libyan oil properties might be necessary. At the time, here's how Forbes write rChristopher Helman reported Gaddafi's comments:
On Wednesday Libya's President Muammar Gaddafi made a bad week for ConocoPhillips even worse. Talking with Georgetown University students via satellite, he said, according to Reuters, that oil prices ($43/barrel Wednesday) were "unbearable" and that Libyan oil "maybe should be owned by national companies or the public sector at this point, in order to control the oil prices, the oil production or maybe to stop it."

Hmm, that's Georgetown University, as in Washington D.C. Georgetwon, where more than one government spook has known to have graduated from.  I don't think the CIA, the State Department or the oil industry missed those Georgetown comments made by Gaddafi.

Most interesting, look at how Helman, speculated at Forbes where Gaddafi's comment might lead:
Is Libya about to take the lead of its friends in Venezuela and Russia and launch a new round of energy-sector nationalism? The thought sends a shiver through the collective spines of ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Amerada Hess  and Royal Dutch Shell . All have made massive new investments in Libya since Gaddafi renounced his nuclear weapons program, made reparations for past terrorist activities like the Lockerbie jetliner bombing and returned to the fold of seemingly responsible nations.

Bottom lime: It would not be hard to make a circumstantial case that the good ol' boys in the oil industry would become very concerned about Gaddafi's nationalise the oil comments. It would certainly be seen as  Gaddafi wandering off the resevation. Could the no-fly zone really be a "no take the good 'ol boys oil zone"? As in, don't even think about it, Muammar.


  1. Sound like a Mohammed Mossideq in 1953 story all over again, no?

  2. Gaddafi essentially hinted at stealing private oil investments... Defending theft with force is necessary, no?

  3. @Warren

    Defend it with your own money, not mine.

  4. Maybe the fact that the population is in revolt have pushed everything over the edge? The reasoning behind this attack is vague and illogical. The entire scene smells. The "helping to protect the people," excuse makes no sense considering that worse things are happening in that region, which they thankfully aren't considering doing anything about at this point.

    I agree that the nationalization talk couldn't have helped things. But I have trouble accepting this "attack because of nationalization" theory because if that was the case, someone like Chavez---who actually did nationalize oil---wouldn't exist.

  5. "Defend it with your own money, not mine."

    So stealing is OK now, huh? Then what are you talking about "your own money, not mine". Maybe I should just come to your house and take all of "your money". Then it'll be mine and I can use it to defend whatever I like.

  6. Anon at 12:14, you are an illogical lunatic.