US Moves To Monopolize World Oil Exports – Y’all Forgot About “Peak Oil” Didn’t You? – Putting the Squeeze On Iran

Source: Gray Zone

March 14, 2019 • By Ben Norton

Venezuela Coup Leader’s Oil Plans Revealed: Guaidó Hopes to Privatize State-Controlled Industry

US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted plans to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry and open up the oil-rich country to foreign corporations, Reuters reported.

The international news agency Reuters has confirmed that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted a plan to privatize the country’s petroleum industry and open up the oil-rich South American country to foreign corporations.

This privatization scheme will be difficult to implement, however, given the Venezuelan government still remains under the control of its elected leftist president, Nicolás Maduro, and the coup attempt led by the Donald Trump administration has thus far failed.

The Grayzone reported on the opposition’s moves to try to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry immediately after the coup attempt began nearly two months ago, at a time when corporate media outlets were largely ignoring this key detail and instead portraying the conflict as a supposed “humanitarian crisis.”

In a March 12 report titled “Venezuela’s Guaido readies to open up oil industry after years of nationalization,” Reuters outlined plans by the opposition to partially privatize Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Reuters euphemistically noted, “The proposal could provide ammunition for Maduro’s claims that Guaido is a puppet for foreign interests.”

The news agency obtained a copy of the US-backed opposition’s privatization proposal, and detailed it as follows:

Under the proposal, which is expected to be released and discussed at Venezuela’s National Assembly in coming days, private firms could choose to run the day-to-day operations of Venezuelan oilfields, a sharp departure from the Chavez era in which foreign companies could only hold minority stakes and were not granted operational control.

Guaido’s team is proposing a variety of exploration and production contracts to allow private companies for the first time in decades to operate oilfields individually and in partnership with PDVSA. Private companies could also apply to operate oil refineries and retail service stations under the draft proposal.

Reuters also quoted the neoliberal Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann, who serves as the coup regime’s delegate to the Inter-American Development Bank and is playing a leading role in the oil privatization scheme.

Please go to Gray Zone to read the entire article.

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U.S. “Oil Weapon” Could Change Geopolitics Forever

By Tim Daiss | March 20, 2019

In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported.

Monthly net trade of crude oil in the Gulf Coast region (the difference between gross exports and gross imports) fell from a high in early 2007 of 6.6 million b/d of net imports to 0.4 million b/d of net exports in December 2018. As gross exports of crude oil from the Gulf Coast hit a record 2.3 million b/d, gross imports of crude oil to the Gulf Coast in December—at slightly less than 2.0 million b/d—were the lowest level since March 1986.

U.S. oil production hit a staggering 12.1 million b/d in February, while that amount has been projected to stay around that production mark in the mid-term then increase in the coming years. The U.S. is the new global oil production leader, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, while Saudi Arabia is still the world’s largest oil exporter – a factor that still gives Riyadh considerable leverage, particularly as it works with Russia, and other partners as part of the so-called OPEC+ group of producers. However, Saudi Arabia’s decades-long role of market swing producers has now been replaced by this coalition of producers, reducing Riyadh’s power both geopolitically and in global oil markets. In short, what Saudi Arabia could once do on its own, it has to do with several partners.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, is still increasing. In November 2018, U.S. Gulf Coast crude oil production set a new record of 7.7 million b/d, the IEA report added. However, since most of the oil produced in the U.S. is light sweet crude, the U.S. still has to rely on heavier crude blends from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and others since most American refineries are configured to process heavy crude. On the other hand, a surplus of light sweet crude allows the U.S. to export more oil thus giving the country growing energy geopolitical power once enjoyed almost exclusively by Saudi Arabia and Russia. The increasing amount of U.S. crude being exporter, along with the increasing amount of U.S. LNG being imported (with exports of both fuels projected to increase) is changing energy geopolitics.

Please go to to read the entire article.


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