Friday, June 17, 2011

US dependence on Saudi Arabia: oil and security

Courtesy of Wikileaks and McClatchy's Kevin Hall in WikiLeaks cables show worry about Saudi oil security McClatchy Newspapers 06/13/2011, we get a glimpse of US dependence on Saudi Arabian oil and therefore on the House of Saud:

When al Qaida suicide bombers tried on Feb. 24, 2006, to blow up Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing facility, arguably the world's most important petroleum hub, it was taken as a sign of strength that internal security had foiled the attack.

Secret U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and shared with McClatchy and other news organizations show otherwise.

Even though 70 percent of Saudi Arabia's oil exports flow through the Abqaiq facility, Saudi security forces were woefully ill prepared to defend it, investigations into the attack found, according to the cables. Efforts to fix the problems were hampered by bickering between the Saudi state oil company and the country's Ministry of the Interior, the cables indicate.
This is an important piece of news, and one that Wikileaks was able to overcome one more piece of secrecy and concealment from the Cheney-Bush Administration, even if it's five years later. With the Obama Administration pursuing even more stringent secrecy policies, it's more important than ever to have news organization like Wikileaks at work.

The precarious security of Saudi oil fields ought to be a central part of the public discussion on US Middle East policy. Partisans of the House of Saud like the Bush family would presumably use it as a reason to pursue an even closer alliance with the repressive, conservative monarachy. But it also should be an argument for aggressive development of renewable energy sources and a reminder of the urgency of drastically reducing US dependency on oil as an energy source.

US oil companies, of course, like to make the argument about reducing US dependence on foreign oil. It's a perpetual pitch of theirs against environmental and other regulatory restrictions.

But, as Hall reports, the Saudi monarchy currently looms very large in the American oil picture:

Saudi Arabia, with 12 percent of the world's oil supply, remains the key to the West's ability to influence oil prices. Last week, when members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to increase production in a move that Western officials had hoped would help curb rising crude oil prices, Saudi Arabia announced it would unilaterally pump more oil. Crude prices immediately dropped.

A successful terrorist attack on Saudi oil facilities would wreak havoc on the kingdom's ability to take a similar step in the future.
Tags: ,

| +Save/Share | |


"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


  • What is the Blue Voice?
  • Bruce Miller
  • Fdtate
  • Marcia Ellen (on hiatus)
  • Marigolds2
  • Neil
  • Tankwoman
  • Wonky Muse


  • Jerry Brown's budget veto
  • Ian Haney Lopez on "reactionary colorblindness"
  • New aid package for Greece? Will a facing of reali...
  • Jerry Brown: a Democrat who fights - and fights Re...
  • US media and politics today - a concise image
  • Democratic enthusiasm (or complacency) for the 201...
  • Republican 2012 Presidential campaign takes shape,...
  • Libya War: I'm sure oil had nothing to do with it,...
  • Papa Doc Paul and Bircher "constitutionalism"
  • Saudis threaten US over Palestinian state



    [Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
    www TBV




    Environmental Links
    Gay/Lesbian Links
    News & Media Links
    Organization Links
    Political Links
    Religious Links
    Watchdog Links



    Atom/XML Feed
    Blogarama - Blog Directory
    Blogwise - blog directory



    hits since 06-13-2005

    site design: wonky muse