- Is Nigeria, And Its Light Sweet Crude, About To Be Drawn Into The Mali “Liberation” Campaign? (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2013):
Precisely a month ago, when we last looked at the ongoing French campaign in Mali, whose diplomatic justification before the people of the “democratic” world was the eradication of “insurgents”, and various other “Al Qaeda rebels”, we asked readers, rhetorically, to look at a map of Mali and tell us what they see.
“Nothing. Mali is one of the most irrelevant countries in West Africa from a resource standpoint, and what happens inside of it is certainly irrelevant from a greater geopolitical standpoint. What is more important is what this map doesn’t show, specifically the name of the country located a few hundred miles to the south: Nigeria.
Now Nigeria is important: very important. Or rather, Nigerian light sweet, one of the highest quality crudes in the world, is. And thanks to the “bungled” French peacemaking attempt, the US now has a critical foothold in what is the most strategically placed stretch of desert in Western Africa, a place where US “military trainers” will now be deployed at will. Be on the lookout for curious escalations in violence around the capital Abuja, and key port city Lagos, in the coming months once the current Mali fracas is long forgotten.”
It appears that Nigeria will be drawn into the fray far sooner than even we expected following today’s news that Islamist militants from neighboring Nigeria abducted a French family of seven, including four children, in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said. Next up: Al Qaeda is mysteriously discovered to be aiding and abetting “evil” insurgent Malians out of Nigeria, and the French campaign, with the generous and stealthy support of the US, shifts slowly but surely southward to its ultimate destination: liberating all that Nigerian light sweet oil.
- After Creating Dollar Exclusion Zones In Asia And South America, China Set To Corner Africa Next (ZeroHedge, July 15, 2012):
By now it really, really should be obvious. While the insolvent “developed world” is furiously fighting over who gets to pay the bill for 30 years of unsustainable debt accumulation and how to pretend that the modern ‘crony capitalist for some and communist for others‘ system isn’t one flap of a butterfly’s wings away from full on collapse mode, China is slowly taking over the world’s real assets. As a reminder: here is a smattering of our headlines on the topic from the last year: ““World’s Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade“, “China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade“, “China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System“, “India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement“, “Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says“, “India Joins Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, Will Transact With Iran In Rupees“, ‘The USD Trap Is Closing: Dollar Exclusion Zone Crosses The Pacific As Brazil Signs China Currency Swap“, and finally, “Chile Is Latest Country To Launch Renminbi Swaps And Settlement“, we now get the inevitable: “Central bank pledges financial push in Africa.” To summarize: first Asia, next Latin America, and now Africa.
Yep: the Yuan may not be the reserve currency by default, but at this rate China will have bilateral, read USD-bypassing relations, with all countries in Asia, South America and shortly Africa (where none other than Goldman Sachs has been pushing harder than anyone). Once the entire world is trading in CNY, it will be merely a matter of flipping the switch and all those fancy three-letter economic theories that explain why the uber-welfare state works just becayse the US can print an infinity+1 in debt, will all suddenly find themselves completely and totally bidless.
From China Daily:
China is to promote the yuan’s use in settling trade and investment with Africa, and encourage the more active development of Chinese financial institutions across the continent, a senior central bank official said on Friday.
Li Dongrong, assistant governor of the People’s Bank of China, said Africa has the capability of becoming a new hub of international capital flow, and the yuan’s use there should be further improved in accordance with rising demand for the currency there.
“We will continue to encourage domestic financial institutions to increase their presence and business across the continent,” Li told delegates at the Forum on China-Africa Financial Cooperation in Beijing, adding that the cooperation potential between the two sides is huge, as Africa’s economy continues to take off. Continue reading »
TEHRAN, IRAN—The workers at one Iran’s largest refineries have been on strike since last Monday when the opposition movement called for a nationwide day of protest to show solidarity with people in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Abadan’s oil refinery is the largest refinery in Iran. The striking workers announced they have not been paid by the contractor engaged to by the government to complete the expansion of the refinery’s capacity to produce gasoline for domestic consumption.
For the last six months, the wages owned to the refinery workers have not been paid by the government’s contractor.
- Egypt: Oil and gas workers strike (YouTube):
Thousands of workers from several oil and gas companies strike ~ http://fifthinternational.org/content… ~ The revolution is not over!
Protesting in front of the Ministry of Petroleum, in Nasr City, the workers had several economic and political demands that include a halt to abusive management practices in terms of sackings, the reinstatement of the sacked workers, raising salaries that roughly average on LE400, establishing an independent union, impeaching the corrupt minister Sameh Fahmy, and stopping gas exports to Israel.
Oil workers in Nigeria under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) yesterday began a nationwide strike over the planned decision of petroleum marketers to sack 50 per cent of its members in their employ.
And Darth Cheney, as expected, escapes again.
Halliburton agrees to pay $250m in fines in lieu of prosecution over alleged multimillion-dollar bribes
Nigeria’s anti-corruption police have dropped charges against Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, over a multi-million dollar bribery case after the energy firm Halliburton agreed to pay up to $250m (£161m) in fines.
The move followed the intervention of ex-president George Bush Sr and former secretary of state James Baker, according to Nigerian press reports.
The country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it met officials representing Cheney and Halliburton in London last week after filing 16-count charges relating to the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in the conflict-ridden Niger delta.
Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the EFCC, said: “There was a plea bargain on the part of the company to pay $250m as fines in lieu of prosecution.”
US embassy cables reveal top executive’s claims that company ‘knows everything’ about key decisions in government ministries
Despite billions of dollars in oil revenue, 70% of people in Nigeria live below the poverty line. Photograph: George Osodi/AP
The oil giant Shell claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians’ every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The company’s top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew “everything that was being done in those ministries”. She boasted that the Nigerian government had “forgotten” about the extent of Shell’s infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.
The cache of secret dispatches from Washington’s embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity, and requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles.
Other cables released tonight reveal:
And now Halliburton is willing to pay $500 million to keep Darth Cheney from being arrested?
Nigerian officials say Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, is preparing to plea bargain.
Nigeria has filed corruption charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney’s lawyer has dismissed the charges as “baseless.” (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
LAGOS, Nigeria — Halliburton is planning to make a plea bargain in former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s corruption case, Nigerian officials told GlobalPost.
KBR has admitted to bribing officials. Last year the company pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court to paying the bribes to Nigerian officials prior to 2007, when it was a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR, which is now independent from Halliburton, agreed to pay $597 million in fines, according to the Associated Press.
Cheney’s lawyer dismissed the new Nigerian charges as “entirely baseless.”
However, Halliburton is in talks with Nigerian officials to make a plea bargain in the case, said Femi Babafemi, spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the agency which has pressed the charges against Cheney.
“The companies are asking for a plea bargain, we are reviewing their request, we are talking with them, but we have not gone far with the talks yet,” Babafemi told GlobalPost.
Although Babafemi did not give further details, other sources within the agency said the plea bargain might involve a $500 million settlement.
Sure nothing will happen, but this is not because Interpol could not immediately arrest Dick Cheney:
So here’s the bottom line:
INTERPOL, an international law enforcement agency, has just been granted complete and utter “diplomatic immunity” within the borders of the United States, courtesy of Obama. They are not subject to any Constitutional limitations within the United States. Good luck filing for discovery, documents, witnesses or subpoenas against a police force that is operating outside of the Constitution in your own country! You can’t sue them. Their records can’t be searched. They are not subject to FOIA requests. You probably won’t even know the name of the agent prosecuting you if INTERPOL comes to visit. And they don’t have to tell you either.
And to track down Dick Cheney should be an easy task.
The energy services company Dick Cheney ran prior to becoming Vice President of the United States was atop the tongue of liberals each time it was awarded a contract in Iraq.
Now the company’s name, Halliburton, is being spoken somewhere else: Nigeria.
According to a story filed late Wednesday, Cheney will be indicted in a Nigerian bribery case as part of an investigation into an alleged $180 million bribery scandal.
“Last week, Nigeria arrested at least 23 officials from companies including Halliburton, Saipem, Technip and a former subsidiary of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG in connection with alleged illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Those detained were all freed on bail on Nov. 29,” Bloomberg News’ Elisha Bala-Gbogbo wrote.
“Authorities in the West African nation are probing Halliburton, Saipem and Technip for the alleged payment of $180 million in bribes to win a $6 billion liquefied natural-gas contract,” Bala-Gbogbo added. “Panalpina is being investigated for illegal payments it allegedly made to Nigerian customs officials on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.”
The prosecuting counsel for the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that indictments will be handed down in the next three days and that an arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol.”
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — Nigeria will file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies including Halliburton Co. over a $180 million bribery scandal, a prosecutor at the anti-graft agency said.
Indictments will be lodged in a Nigerian court “in the next three days,” Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in an interview today at his office in Abuja, the capital. An arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol,” the world’s biggest international police organization, he said.
Peter Long, Cheney’s spokesman, said he couldn’t immediately comment when contacted today and said he would respond later to an e-mailed request for comment.
Obla said charges will be filed against current and former chief executive officers of Halliburton, including Cheney, who was CEO from 1995 to 2000, and its former unit KBR Inc., based in Houston, Texas; Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield- services provider; Eni SpA, Italy’s biggest oil company; and Saipem Construction Co., a unit of Eni. Obla didn’t identify the former officials whom he said held office when the alleged bribes were paid.
Last week, Nigeria arrested at least 23 officials from companies including Halliburton, Saipem, Technip and a former subsidiary of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG in connection with alleged illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Those detained were all freed on bail on Nov. 29.
Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to pay $48m (£29.4m) in civil and criminal fines over its contractor’s involvement in bribing Nigerian customs officials.
The US Department of Justice hit the London-listed oil super-major with the penalty, after Panalpina, which was employed by Shell, agreed to plead guilty to taking bribes on behalf of its clients.
Panalpina, a major Swiss freight and logistics company, must pay $82m in fines after admitting to paying bribes to customs officials in at least seven countries including Nigeria, Brazil and Russia between 2002 and 2007.
Four of Panalpina’s other clients in addition to Shell were also fined, including Transocean, Tidewater, Pride International and Noble Corp.
“These companies resorted to lucrative arrangements behind the scenes to obtain phony paperwork and special favours, and they landed themselves squarely in investigators’ crosshairs,” said Robert Khuzami, the director of enforcement at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
In total, the six companies must pay $236m in criminal and civil penalties.