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SC15

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May 01, 2006 10:51PM
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/P149921.asp

The oil world's new bullies

Move over, Exxon Mobile. Step aside, BP. Run away home, Chevron. There's a new set of oil bullies on the block. And they're named Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Chad.

No need to feel sorry for the Exxon Mobils of the world while you're filling up your tank with $3-a-gallon gas. Who can feel sorry for a company that earned $36 billion in 2005, more than any U.S. company ever?

But as you seethe about $3 gas now and worry about $4 gas next year, remember that big oil isn't calling the shots anymore. Venezuela has forced ExxonMobil to slink out of the country, and has made Chevron and ConocoPhillips, take a 75% hike in royalties and a 50% increase in taxes and say, "Thank you, sir, may I please have another?"

Russia is blackmailing all of Europe by saying "sell us your natural-gas delivery companies or no natural gas for you." Iran has thumbed its nose at the United States and the United Nations, figuring that the world needs its oil too much to actually do anything about its nuclear weapons program. And Chad got the World Bank, the U.S. government and Exxon Mobil to cough up disputed royalties by threatening to shut its oil pipeline.

Boy, you know you're in trouble when Chad, a country of 8.1 million people living on 1.3 million square miles of desert, can push you around.

All signs of the shifting sands of power. The longer we remain dependent on hydrocarbon energy, the more clout these other nations will gain, and as we have seen in the last few years, they won't be shy about using the various rewards of influence, their desirable, and ever scarcer energy sources will bring.
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SC15

Wizard 972May 01, 2006 10:51PM

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Wizard 1112May 13, 2006 10:50AM



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