Thursday, October 09, 2008

US Pact with India Frees Big Oil to Continue Their Reign

It seems, in these days of economic crisis, that the only business that's flourishing is Big Oil. I just read a rumor [Reuters] that the Indian state-run oil producer ONGC will seal its deal to buy Russia’s Imperial Energy “any day now”. Exxon Mobil is partnered w/ONGC in the Sakhalin-1 Consortium, historically the largest foreign direct investment in Russia. ONGC is allegedly looking at a Kazakhstan-based oil company as well..hoping to explore and drill [baby drill] the Caspian shelf. Positive news for Exxon Mobil.

In 2003, ONGC paid a booming $1.7 billion to buy a stake in Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Sakhalin-I field. The Sakhalin-I project consists of three fields: Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi offshore the north-east coast of Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East.

India's Petroleum Minister Murli Deora will go to Moscow this month to get Kremlin-approval for acquisition of Imperial Energy by ONGC. Vladimir Putin is head of the state apparatus by which takeovers in strategic sectors are approved.

With the recent the Indo-US nuclear deal there'll be more nuclear power generation in India. Because of the pact, ONGC will soon sign on w/State-owned Uranium Corporation of India for exploration & mining of fissile material.

The U.S. is hoping to keep India in their foreign policy orbit with this new agreement. Is this progress toward alternative energy and national security? Not exactly. It has too much to do with all the new [old-school] energy-related business. For more than 40 years, India has been one of the largest buyers of Russian-made weapons. Nearly 70 percent of India's military weapons are Russian-made and India has been a reliable customer of Russian metals, coal and fertilizers. The US sees a chance to move India away from Russia's FP orbit.

SO much has to change if we're going to see peace in our time. This stuff is more like a race to the non-creative bottom for the sake of energy hegemony for certain business interests.

There's also the Iran-India-Pakistan natural gas pipeline. I think the U.S. government felt the urgent need to get this bilateral agreement with India passed because of a proposed Iran-India-Pakistan natural gas pipeline that will supply both India and Pakistan with gas.

Pipelines. We all know how that tune goes. It's a dance that the US, Russia, Iran, and other nations know all too well. The US wants to keep India in its foreign policy orbit and out of Russia and Iran's. That's the way I see it, as cynical as it may sound. For those who can't resist the urge to deny reality, please try and contain yourselves and don't call me anti-American. Be more creative. Ask Exxon Mobil when our gas prices will go down here in the States. After all, things are going so nicely for them. Why shouldn't they want us to be happy for them instead of being the disgusting profit-maker that empties our meager pockets while the U.S. is falling on the hardest times we've known since the Great Depression?

Senator John Kerry said this week [WSJ]
U.S.-India relations must be about more than exchanging nuclear fuel or technology. The next president must work to achieve broad-based cooperation that reflects the shared principles, shared threats, and ever deepening ties between our two economies and societies.

As usual, Big Oil is King and the real diplomacy is left to the next President. What a nice thing for Exxon Mobil.



ONGC Says Credit Crisis Won't Hamper Imperial Deal Bloomberg News
Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India's biggest exploration company, said the global credit freeze won't hamper plans for its 1.4 billion-pound ($2.4 billion) acquisition of Imperial Energy.