Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Analysts - Seeds Of Future Libyan Conflict Already Sown

Oil production tells a tale of two nations, two basins, two distinct regions – Petroleum shortage, already at 100K barrels per day, will affect Italy more than any other nation

Italy's reliance on the biggest share of a steady 1.8 million barrels per day of Libyan petroleum export is crimped at a rate of about 100,000 barrels per day – but the trend will continue to grow.

No matter the outcome of the internal conflict over Colonel Qadafi's 40-year regime, the Italian reliance upon Libyan oil is certain to cause an even larger conflict between two distinct and separate oil-producing regions – one in the east on a gulf just west of Benghazi, the other in the west in a desert basin far to the southwest of Tripoli, according to analysts following the emerging situation.

The Qadafi faction is headquartered in the western region at Tripoli; the opposition at Benghazi. There are about 600 kilometers of bare desert between the two outposts.

In fact, Mr. Qadafi's son has already referred to this conflict in the sure terms of resignation to kismet, with the certainty that civil war will soon erupt and the western faction at Tripoli will emerge victorious, no matter how long and protracted or bloody and glorious the coming civil war may be.

The collateral collapse of the state-run Italian energy company, ENI, will be a likely and early casualty in this conflict.

“There have not been any attacks on the energy sector yet, but the threats to stability – overt and implied – have been sufficient to nudge most international oil firms operating in Libya to evacuate their staffs,” according to a briefing by Straffor, a private inteligence service operating out of Austin.

With a tiny population of 6.5 million, less than that of New York City, Libya “simply cannot generate the mass of technocrats and engineers required to run a reasonably sized energy sector.”

Italian influence in the region has been exerted since the time of the Roman Empire, and the ENI organization has had no real incentive to expand its operations or find any real depth in new sources of petroleum over the past 40 years.

Nevertheless, the Italian organization has stuck with Qadafi through feast and famine, seemingly enjoying the relationship, in spite of U.N. and U.S. sanctions imposed when Libya backed militant operations and its agents downed Pan Am flight 103in 1988, killing 270 people at Lockerbie, Scotland.

ENI production accounts for about 15 percent of Libyan output at 250,000 barrels per day, a microcosmic illustration of the kind of economic problems the growing Muslim Brotherhood revolution is surely going to cause western nations in the near future.


  1. If PIIGS mean anything to anyone, this can only be very,very bad news. Hearing rumors that the Libyan oil rigs are now wired for demolition, can't be good for them either. Now, I guess we just sit back and watch the train wreck happen.

  2. Right you are, sir, and this is one collision I've been waiting for 40-plus years to see. I wonder how old Armand Hammer would feel today, knowing what's going on in his old oil fields. Or Mr. Rockefeller, for that matter. Jesse H. Jones? Gulf? You got it. We all got skinned up by this old boy - big time - way back there.

    I made a valuable contact when I met the language education officer who taught him English at Wheelus Air Force Base, back when Gadaffi, Qadaffi, was only a Lieutenant. Oh, well, we do our business and some days the dragon wins.

    But that was long ago, as Mr. Hoagie Carmichael would say.

    Remember the line of death? Hoot. Remember Lt. Stephen Decatur? There are some U.S. Navy officers who thought highly of his heroics, as did President Thomas Jefferson. Oh, we go way back with these folks, you see.

    "It's the same story the crow told me; it's the only one he knows..." - The Grateful Dead

    The Legendary
    p.s. a tip of the hat to you, sir. Thanks for reading me humble contributions to music, culture, science and the pursuit of happiness. I come by it honest, sir. That I did.


  3. What I mean, I stole it fair and square, as Mr. Mark Twain often said.

    - The Legendary

  4. No Dog is a Martyr,
    No "leader" brings foreign troops