310 thoughts on “The Quest for Somali Oil

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  • Tom

    I think most of the worlds likely sources of oil were known by the 1930s, with considerable accuracy and oil in the ground still is as handy a place to store it meantime as anywhere else, is actually more conveniently left where it is, especially when prices were flagging. Like the natural gas rich areas of the Caspian area which while also having oil as well gas, it is in multiple small dispersed discontiguous locations, rather than one large pool which can be tapped fully from one or two spots; in that region it simply isn’t economical to keep moving on to another spot –yet. There are nevertheless no super deposits anywhere like Saudi Arabia was, or Iraq or Iran. These Somalian deposits while exciting and I hope a boost for all strata of Somali people, might simply end up propelling the war machine towards the remaining mother-lode in Iran. Oil like that light sweet Iranian crude, clean and volatile even when unrefined, is rare, contaminants like sulphur might abound in other locations. Without significant on site water separation and settlement facilities too, particularly as fields age and water injection and scouring techniques become necessary, these smaller deposits might become an economic and security liability in the short term.

  • Tris

    Well, wouldn’t you know it.

    I thought it was too good too be true that Cameron and what’s his name were actually interested in the fate of the Somalis.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Karen Greenberg who writes in the Guardian seems to know the truth..
    .
    – TOP SECRET – al-Shabaab commanders trained in Afghanistan and Djibouti have Anglo-Yankee backing and are paid from a ‘black fund’ held at the CIA headquarters in Mogadishu.
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    Just another Libyan ‘falseflag’ for resources and of course a base from which to operate.

  • Clark

    From the linked article:
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    “Riven by two decades of conflict that have seen the emergence of a dangerous Islamic insurgency…”
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    OK, so who’s sponsoring this? Our allies, the usual suspects? So handy to have a little conflict to go and get involved in. But maybe I’m just getting paranoid.
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    “and comes at a time when the world is increasingly concerned about the actions of Iran…”
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    Er, what has Iran actually done? They’ve responded to various threats and embargoes, but I don’t remember them actually having started any new trouble, no matter all the recent wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media.

  • Mary

    I mentioned that little throwaway earlier Clark on the previous post.

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    Mary
    26 Feb, 2012 – 7:41 am
    We have discussed Somalia here before. As someone said, it’s always about OIL.
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    ‘The Observer can reveal that, away from the public focus of last week’s summit, talks are going on between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored in the arid north-eastern region of the country. Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi, minister for international cooperation in Puntland, north-east Somalia – where the first oil is expected to be extracted next month – said: “We have spoken to a number of UK officials, some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues. They will help us build our capacity to maximise future earnings from the oil industry.”
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    British involvement in the future Somali oil industry would be a boon for the UK economy and comes at a time when the world is increasingly concerned about the actions of Iran, the second-biggest oil producer in Opec.’
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    Britain leads dash to explore for oil in war-torn Somalia
    Government offers humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in country’s future energy industry
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/25/britain-oil-dash-somalia
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    Note the little throwaway phrase on Iran. That’s right Guardian. Keep up the pressure and keep the propaganda flowing.
    .

  • Mary

    O/T There has been a tragedy off the Ramsgate coast today.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17170371
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    What happens to these offshore wind farms when something similar occurs when a cargo vessel or the like is adrift? Hope no Costa cruise ships come close!
    .
    Red Sands Tower has an interesting history {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunsell_Forts}

  • deepgreenpuddock

    I watched a BBC program about ‘fusion power’ yesterday, with Brian Cox reviewing the attempts to control the process. I am sure it still on iplayer. However one little interlude where he tries clay pigeon shooting, has an American physicist explain why oil is so ‘good’=useful. At another point in the program they look at the alternatives to oil and the outcome of the assessment is that the future energy situation is indeed dire, if some technical breakthrough such as Fusion does not become available reasonably soon.

    Now I am sure many who follow this blog will be well aware of the world energy situation but what I thought was interesting about the program was that, without actually saying so, it made it perfectly clear that oil and gas must be the central strategic commodity and crucial to the future survival of the western countries in a condition anything like what we have come to recognise as normal.

    The program laid bare-inadvertently- the desperation (and likely ruthlessness) that exists relating to mineral energy reserves. There should be no doubt within anyones mind that our government is fully committed and competing for advantage in relation to reserves of mineral energy , and that the oil companies are one of the main strategic arms of government . There should be no doubt that lives, morality, ethics are secondary or even tertiary level considerations in this competition and that to all intents and purposes there is no choice but to compete in this race, to the exclusion of all else.

  • T

    @Deepgreenpuddock, I think you’re correct, but bear in mind at present increasing consumption rates despite the worldwide downturn, even Iranian oil fully exploited will feed just another 4 or 5 years of this madness, then things will indeed turn nastier still than millions of dead, beautiful, blameless innocent Iranians is to contemplate. As has always been the case, the best economic return for the oil bearing nations, if they’re aren’t completely hoodwinked and robbed in the negotiations, is the slowest possible recovery and extraction, which ultimately relinquishes far greater life of fields and maximum yields, without which conservation strategy many now defunct North Sea fields for example would still have 50-100 years of modest and still highly profitable returns. The oil business now and has never respected any golden goose entrusted to their far from tender care, more Dr. Shipman than Flo Nightingale – recall the precipitous US domestic production collapse – preferring rapacity and the quick buck, jam today for a few and thin gruel for all tomorrow.

    Let’s have Renewables on a huge scale, the sooner the better and no more resource wars or nuclear horror plants. Evolve or extinguish ourselves, seems an easy choice in those terms.

  • Ruth

    I don’t think Cameron’s and Hague’s activism on Somalia is so sudden. It appears the UK has been laying out plans for Somalia for quite a while.

    http://szamko.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/somali-pirates-directed-by-british-consultants/

    For starters:

    Yup. Somali pirates are back in the news. After a brief hiatus (and an appearance on South Park), the Guardian reports on an intriguing development. Apparently, a “European military intelligence document” obtained by a Spanish radio station relates how “Somali pirates attacking shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are directed to their targets by a “consultant” team in London.”

    This team allegedly relays information about vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden in painstaking detail, although how they come across that information is unclear. Cadena, the radio station that broke the story, suggests that “information that merchant ships sailing through the area volunteer to various international organisations is ending up in the pirates’ hands” presumably quoting from the intelligence document, but how that data passes from those organizations to consultants with tight links to pirates half a world away is a mystery.

    Whatever the mechanism, this network has allowed the pirates to strike efficiently and frequently, much more so than in the past. It has also allowed them to discriminate between the vessels based on their nation of origin. As the Guardian’s Giles Tremlett reports, “Captains of attacked ships have found that pirates know everything from the layout of the vessel to its ports of call” and “In each case, says the document, the pirates had full knowledge of the cargo, nationality and course of the vessel.”

    Yet “The national flag of a ship is also taken into account when choosing a target, with British vessels being increasingly avoided.” ………….’

    According to Wikipedia the first attack on a British came in October not long after the article.

  • Rob Royston

    Ruth,

    Ships give out information through a system called AIS. It can detail all that you have listed. At first only other AIS stations within VHF range of the vessel would see the information, it’s purpose was, and is, collision avoidance.
    What has happened though is that internet sites have sprung up, to serve ship-spotter hobbyists, which receive information from shore based receivers that are also linked to the internet. This means that anyone in the world can track most ships from there own house. Look at http://www.marine.traffic.com which covers most of the world’s sea routes. In the UK we have http://www.shipais.com . They are all different, but if you know where to look you can find out about most journeys. For example some will let you back-track the vessels path right to the quay it was loaded at. This will normally give you an idea of what the cargo is, or a starting point for further research.

  • Young One

    Somalis were the only ones who made English men sign up to a policy that required whitemen to refrain from slavery and not have children on land. They are not people who will be obedient like in the majority of African countries, and they will just use him like a condom.

    One thing I noticed though is that the people involved with this pirate region that calls itself “puntland” are suspicous companies who seem to make money only from hot air. The facilities they took with them were staged for pictures than real serious explorations.

    This discussion has the photo opportunities Range Resources had:
    http://www.somaliaonline.com/community/showthread.php/61228-Oil-in-Puntland.-Daroor-Oil-Basin?highlight=drilling

    Why other Somalis don’t take them serious is because the “puntland” admin are run by failed taxi drivers from Melbourne who now appoint themselves as presidents and other high ranking positions.

  • Clark

    Deepgreenpuddock and T, humanity apparently had the answer to the energy problem back in the ’60s, but preferred to pursue solid-fueled uranium fission instead:
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    http://energyfromthorium.com/essay3rs/
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    Two of these things were actually built; both worked just fine, so I dunno why Cox is on about fusion, maybe he never heard of MSR technology. It seems to me that governments weren’t interested in nuclear power unless it produced plutonium.

  • Chris2

    Interesting that there is no UK media partner. And that David Leigh of The Guardian is said to be part of the story this time around.

  • glenn_uk

    It really is unbelievable – can’t these people or their advisers try, just once in a while, to throw support behind a genuinely worthy case in which there is no vested interest? Just occasionally, for PR’s sake! Why is it they allow it to be so obvious, that every single time they highlight anything at all that the public should supposedly endorse, they have mates at the ready, gagging to stick their snouts into the proverbial trough?
    .
    Are they so thick that, and consider themselves so clever, that nobody will notice or care? Or are they – and more particularly, their handlers – just so satisfied with the mechanism that allows them to brazen it out through _anything_, that they just test its efficiency once in a while. And sit back and laugh at the splutterings of the marginalised left who balk at such things, but are scared to even identify themselves as on the left. Progressive Americans became terrified at becoming termed a “liberal” quite some time back. This is just another of our wretched imports of right-wing American philosophy.

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    Professor Brian Cox peddles a neutered, Frankenstein version of physics which requires a *belief* that 95% of the universe is invisible, undetectable and non-interacting. This is a from of religion, no matter how you dress it up it’s faith.
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    In science today the absolute pinnacle of excellence is reserved for military research. There are whole areas of scientific knowledge which are kept secret because they have become weaponised or have strategic value. Much of this knowledge could benefit humanity immensely.
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    Quantum Theory is one example of such an area. Without QT there would have been no revolution in electronics. Semi-conductors work via quantum effects and were first developed in the 1930s and became widely available in the 1970s, creating the information age we live in today.
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    Yet it is public knowledge that Quantum Theory is incompatible with Einstein’s theory of special relativity. We should therefore understand that Einstein’s theory is simply a widely accepted dogma, or at best an entry point to deeper (often secret) theories.
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    Most of the papers on free energy left by Nikola Tesla are still US state secrets (no profit in it). No one should need reminding of Tesla’s contribution to humanity, but they often do thanks to the promotion of Einsteins flawed theory over the practical, day to day inventions of a true genius who had a real insight and understanding into the nature of the primal force of the universe.

  • DonnyDarko

    So what happened to Peak Oil ??
    The west coast of africa from Angola all the way up to Western Sahara are opening new fields, then East Africa, and now the Med and the Falklands.
    Is it all just a big ruse to keep prices high ?

    No doubt ,none of this would be necessary if a handful of Tesla’s patents were made public. He is the man after all that could create an electrical current from thin air.
    The hydro carbon addiction would have been cured decades ago leaving a cleaner planet and no need to invade and pollute countries cursed with oil.

  • guano

    Mark
    The story of the Ashshabab girl who killed her own politician father with a suicide bomb was shocking. But as the game of war between CIA backed ALQaida and CIA backed Iran, Saddam, Gaddafi etc etc, gets more exposed, one begins to understand that most of what AlQaida does is lies. The incident may not have happened, and the stories are just dog-shit for ordinary people to skid on.

  • Mary

    Jonathan Cook on Gove as Murdoch’s ‘point man’
    Posted by The Editors on February 27, 2012, 8:18 am

    A good article in the Guardian showing that Michael Gove is little more than Rupert Murdoch’s point man in the government. These kinds of veiled and profoundly corrupt connections between the military-industrial complex (think Fox-Werritty-Gould) are how most governmental politics is conducted in Britain, and elsewhere. But investigative reports of this nature constitute what percentage of media coverage of British politics? Certainly far less than 1%. Every time someone wants to point to the proof of a free press, they will be able to cite this article. But the problem is that the 99-plus% of articles reinforce, despite all the evdidence, an entirely different sense of British poliitical life. From now on, every article in which Gove expresses a view on a matter related to Murdoch’s vast empire or to press regulation ought to carry the warning: Gove, who has maintained strong personal and financial ties to Rupert Murdoch, said yesterday about the Leveson inquiry” or whatever. Any chance of that? None whatsoever.
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/26/schools-crusade-gove-murdoch
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    JC

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    Responses:
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    “This far, and no further” nm – Aidan Today, 8:41 am
    Re: “This far, and no further” nm – ITS1789 Today, 9:10 am
    Re: “This far, and no further” nm – Keith-264 Today, 9:36 am
    Re: Jonathan Cook on Gove as Murdoch’s ‘point man’ – The Editors Today, 9:19 am
    .

    {http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1330330720.html}

  • TFS

    Off Topic: Global Financial situation

    There are no better places to view the Great Financial Ponzi scheme at work then by following Max Keiser on RT, all episodes available from his website, and for a more in depth view of the state of the financial system look no further than ZeroHedge.

  • Michael Stephenson

    As someone already mentioned wiki leaks are beginning to release the stratfor emails which once again add further evidence to the immorality and illegality behind these shady private intelligence firms and their government and corporate pay masters.
    I predict the MSM will completely fail to bring the story to a large audience and instead focus on how the emails were snatched by anonymous.

  • ingo

    Thanks for that link Ruth, who would have known that a London based office is using Somali pirates to gerrymander the oil price. What happens to the oil price if two/three tankers are nabbed? or if the straight of Aden becomes a no go area?

    Somalia’s oil is up for grabs due to the existing chaos, something we helped create and foster and which is to be exploited now. It is far more practible for us to use up other people’s oil before we start using that of the Falklands.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2010/may/06/2
    Some 17 test wells have been sunk by Rockhopper since the 1979, last years was successfull, hence the flare up over sovereingty, which does not coubnt when it comes to drones killing civilians but definately matters when the Falkands are at stake.

    Clark and Dwtsortofthing have already pointed to the technological advances that could pull us away from fossile fuel burning. Wireless energy transfer via nano carbon based opposite storage units/batteries have ben developed, but rae stalled in favour of exploiting what little is left, profits before innovation is the agenda. Those dirty companies which are holding on for dear life to oil exploration and burning, which ever way, are notbest pleased to see their profits questioned or abolished by new clean technologies, so unless we dispense with them and their puppets, nothing will change much.

    This, after long searching, shows the advances made with regards to wireless energy production, transfer, and utilisation, the future. It will make fossile fuels obsolete.
    http://www.nd.edu/~pkamat/pdf/nanocarbon.pdf

  • Passerby

    Let us face it, if by now, anyone is in any doubt about the selfish reasons of the Western Leadership about their constant meddling in all the affairs of the Johnny foreigner around the globe, he/she ought to be certified as insane and sent to an asylum for their own safety.
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    I don’t like to think I am the Winston Smith of our times. Has no one thought why on Earth the Islamic Courts Systems in Somalia were destroyed by the help of that turn coat Meles Zenawi? (Ethiopian attack on Somalia)
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    I am no fucking genius to see the link being oil and minerals. Do I have to wait for some “oh so informed stooge” (who has been reading what I have read, and written about on various cyberspots) to put pen to paper in some rag, for me to accept that what I have known for years is actually true!
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    Somalia was the next target in the long line of targets, but Russians pissing on the plans of expansion to Syria made room for it to be forwarded on the list of must invade in the Pentagon. the Afircom set up in Djibouti is well placed to take care of/infiltrate the Alshabab or “the youth/young people/young ones” in Somalia, who have been the best ever advent for the flagging insurance industry (less volume of traffic getting insured) that has been hiking up their premiums for the sake of the pirates of Somalia.
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    However for the sake of not losing momentum (the wankers are on a roll and would like to keep it that way) have now decided upon Somalia to be the next target for democratization and liberations.
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    US strategy of creeping ivy invasion of the globe so far has continued unrelenting, promoting a broken down economic and political doctrine, that it finds as the only method of self preservation. The theory goes in a land of disabled there ought not exist any able bodied entities to challenge the supremacy of the disabled, and lame brains.

  • Mary

    E-mail just in from a friend.
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    Lorna Fitzsimmons Abandons Sinking Ship
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    The full story has yet to emerge, if it ever does, of Mossad Agents Adam Werrity and Liam Fox MP and Defence Secretary and BICOM’s (British Israel Communications and Research Centre) role in transferring funds to Werrity’s bogus charity Atlantic Bridge, which existed to forge links at the highest level between Israel and the UK Arms industry. The millionaire arms dealer Zabludowicz was the bag-holder and the UK’s Ambassador to Israel was part of the conspiracy.
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    If these people had been operating a similar conspiracy of behalf of Iran instead of Israel, they would all be in jail.
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    Nobody seems to know where Werrity is at present but he is not in the UK, and the whole story has been closed down, at least for the present. This is the Jewish Chronicle’s take on the resignation, so not a word is mentioned about Liam Fox etc.
    Anyway good riddance to Lorna.
    .

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/64079/lorna-fitzsimons-resigns-bicom-chief-executive
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    Lorna Fitzsimmons Resigns as BICOM Executive

    By Jennifer Lipman, February 24, 2012
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    Lorna Fitzsimons (third left) with Hazel Blears MP, Bicom chairman Poju Zabludowicz and Baroness Margaret McDonagh (photo)
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    The chief executive of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre is to step down after nearly six years in the role.
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    Lorna Fitzsimons, who served as a Labour MP for Rochdale for eight years before joining Bicom, is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
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    Ms Fitzsimons, who was president of the National Union of Students between 1992 and 1994, took the job at Bicom in 2006 after Danny Shek stepped down.
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    Under her supervision, Bicom held the We Believe in Israel conference last year, attracting 1,500 people and nearly 100 guest speakers.
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    Bicom was set up in 2001 to counter anti-Israel propaganda. When Ms Fitzsimons, 44, was appointed its chief executive, she said that “Israel was at the forefront of a struggle that has a direct impact on us here in the UK.
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    Ms Fitzsimons said working for Bicom had been “the most amazing experience and privilege”.
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    “To be able to work on an issue that you also believe in and care about is a luxury not many people have. My belief in what we do and its importance has not diminished and will not in the future.
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    “Now more than ever Israel needs friends and I can assure you I will never stint in my efforts to promote and defend her. I am leaving the organisation in good hands with Dermot Kehoe leading the team going forward.” Mr kehoe will lead Bicom until a new chief executive is appointed.
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    Bicom board chairman Poju Zabludowicz said the board had reluctantly accepted her resignation.
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    “Under Lorna’s leadership Bicom has reached exemplary levels. She leaves a huge mark on the organisation, the pro-Israel community and Israel advocacy.”

  • Passerby

    Mary,
    How very true, if these characters had been engaged on “advocacy” for any other country than the apartheid regime in Isreal, they would have been tried and imprisoned under the charges of treason. The stench of corruption must have reached to such an intolerable degrees that Lorna Fitzsimons has been put to pasture. Although her fawning genuflections to all things zionist will ensure this operative to be shoved into another spot to carry on her hasbara activities.
    ,
    There is a new scandal unfolding along and the preemtive sacking/resignation (no replacement as yet) is a protective measure at gaining distance.

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