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October 21, 2003

   Toby Westerman, Editor and Publisher                                                                                   Copyright 2003

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Living in a Fool's Paradise:
Fostering Dependence Upon Russian Oil

October 21, 2003
By Toby Westerman
Copyright 2003 International News Analysis Today
www.inatoday.com

Despite official statements from the Russian government declaring an alliance between Russian and Saudi oil interests, U.S. business analysts remain wedded to the belief that Russian oil is the ticket to freedom from the threat of an OPEC oil embargo.

The Chicago Tribune, owned by the Tribune Company, one of the most powerful corporations in American journalism, carried Sunday, October 19, 2003 an article in its business page entitled, "U.S. energy efforts, Russian oil, reduce reliance on OPEC," with a Chicago Tribune by-line.

The article enumerated several factors undercutting U.S. reliance on OPEC, and cited Russian oil production "coming on strong" as one of the key factors which "complicates the long-term outlook for OPEC."

Saudi Arabia, one of the most anti-Christian nations on earth, is a founding member of OPEC, and as of early September 2003, a close partner with Moscow in the field of oil production.

The Tribune article detailed Russia's vast reserves, production potential, and British Petroleum's (BP) heavy investment in Russian oil fields.

BP became the second largest oil and gas producer after its investment of nearly eight billion dollars into the Russian oil firm TNK. ExxonMobil may surpass BP's Russian investment with a 25-billion dollar stake in Russia's energy giant, YukosSibneft, if a final agreement is reached.

The Tribune article takes comfort in oil industry estimates giving OPEC only a 30 percent share of the world oil market, down from the 50 percent it enjoyed during the oil embargo of 1973.

Some industry analysts are reassured that Russia, now the second largest oil producer following Saudi Arabia, may soon overtake Saudi production.

All the petroleum industry and media euphoria over Russia's growing preeminence in oil production solidly ignores the close working relationship Moscow and Riyadh established during the first week of September during the historic - and generally overlooked - Russian visit of Crown Prince Abdullah.

The two nations agreed to "jointly control the world price of oil" in the name of "stability," and to insure that "no nation can dictate its will," according to the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government.

Moscow and Riyadh did not define what they term "stability."

The "nation" which could "dictate its will" was a reference to the United States, which dared to overthrow the ruthless tyrant Saddam Hussein without the permission of his main supporter, Russia, and without the backing of the Arab world, whose governments often have an unsettling resemblance to the regime of the Socialist-turned-fundamentalist Muslim, Saddam Hussein.

Do you have questions about U.S. foreign policy?
If so, read the "America in Wonderland" issue of International News Analysis -- coming to a mailbox near you.

Related Article: Russian -- Saudi Axis?

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Copyright 2003
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