Oil Politics

• China soon to be world’s top petroleum refiner

By Victor Thorn

With gasoline prices hovering around the $4-per-gallon mark—and even higher in metropolitan areas—a popular author, documentary filmmaker, broadcaster and speaker disclosed some information AFP readers won’t see on the nightly newscasts. During an April 11 interview, “Power of Prophecy” founder Texe Marrs asked this writer, “Did you know that last year the U.S. exported more oil to foreign nations than it imported?”

Yes, you read that correctly. And with energy costs higher than they’ve ever been in this nation’s history. Marrs calls this peculiar situation “the ultimate betrayal of America.”


In his latest video, Marrs chronicles how elite financier George Soros is leading a rapid shift in the global order wherein China will replace the United States as the primary economic driver. Wealthy elites, such as former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson who has visited China 74 times, are helping to facilitate  this new hegemonic order.

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“In the past decade,” Marrs began, “China has built 25 new oil refineries. America hasn’t constructed a new refinery [in the continental U.S.] since 1976. It’s all about distribution, and the globalists have selected China as the world’s refinery.”

It’s worse than that, though. In the past few years, major oil companies have actually been closing their U.S. refining facilities.

Sunoco is in the process of closing its two Pennsylvania refineries, and ConocoPhillips will follow suit by shutting down its own refineries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Hess Corp. is permanently ending business at the country’s third-largest refinery, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To put this matter into perspective, Marrs said: “10 years ago, there wasn’t a single Chinese company in the top 100. Today, two Chinese oil companies are in the top five, and soon they’ll surpass Exxon Mobil as No. 1.”

To ensure that his meaning isn’t misconstrued, Marrs stressed: “Red China will become the world’s great colossus.”

What should especially enrage Americans who can’t afford to fill their gas tanks or who will face astronomical heating bills this winter is the fact that numerous U.S. refineries are actually shutting down.

“The New World Order (NWO) elite have essentially said: America will no longer refine oil,” said Marrs. “That’s why companies such as Conoco and Sunoco are closing their refineries. To make matters worse, these huge U.S. corporations are refusing to refine oil and gas that is being drilled by smaller independent companies. So, what these wildcatters are forced to do is ship their fuel overseas so it can be refined.”

In a March 14 article for the news outlet The Business Insider, Keith Schafer wrote, “America has more than enough cheap domestic oil.”

In an April 16 article entitled “Mass Exodus of U.S. Oil Refineries,” former oil industry executive Robert Arnett left no room for doubt.

“In 2010, there were 149 operable U.S. refineries . . . [but] something odd started happening in late 2010-early 2011,” he said. “The U.S. oil refinery industry quietly announced the closure of numerous U.S. oil refineries. Many are completely unaware the U.S. ships oil overseas to be processed. We do so as we do not have enough refineries to process the vast amounts here, and we are barred from building any more refineries.”

The final sentence of Arnett’s reporting piggybacks on what Marrs discussed with this writer.

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“The only purpose for the Department of Energy [DOE] is to keep the price of energy high in the U.S.,” said Marrs. “They place so many regulations and so much red tape on these smaller energy companies who want to construct refineries that, ultimately, they’re prevented from doing so.”

There looks like there may be some interesting news coming, though, as far as domestic energy is concerned.

An April 17 headline by Pennsylvania reporter Scott Detrow noted, “An Odd Problem For The United States: Too Much Natural Gas.” With this glut of cheap and abundant energy, the abandonment of U.S. refining capacity is more than a little curious.

Despite opposition from environmentalists, the DOE and congressmen such as Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Houston energy company Cheniere has customers from Japan and Europe lining up at their door to purchase low-cost natural gas.

Study Cites Seismic Dangers of ‘Fracking’

By Victor Thorn

Small, independent energy companies argue that liquid natural gas (LNG) obtained through a process known as “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) will not only lower fuel costs and decrease U.S. reliance on foreign oil, but will also allow our nation to compete once again on the global stage. But critics see a far more ominous scenario, citing new research linking the controversial gas-drilling practice to pollution and a spate of earthquakes, which hit the Midwest.

Fracking is the process of drilling and then injecting chemicals and water into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks so that natural gas can be collected. For years critics have argued that fracking fluid, which contains sulfuric acid, lead, benzene and hydrochloric acid among other things, has contaminated wells and has led to gas seeping into aquifers that supply drinking water.

On April 4, journalist Susan Phillips, who produced an award-winning series called “The Shale Game,” penned a column with this bold headline: “U.S. Geological Survey Links Man-Made Earthquakes to Gas Drilling.”

Phillips began her article by writing, “Underground injection of frack wastewater ‘almost certainly’ caused a wave of earthquakes from Alabama to Colorado, according to a new report soon to be released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).”

She continued, “The report says the use of deep injection wells to dispose of the wastewater is the likely source of the increase in seismic activity.”

To bolster her argument, Phillips cited the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which commented on the USGS study.

“USGS authors said they do not know why oil and gas activity might cause an increase in earthquakes, but a possible explanation is an increase in the number of wells drilled over the past decade and the increase in fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing in each well,” she wrote.

In this context, the EWG surmised that the injection of enormous amounts of wastewater into the wells “can induce seismicity by changing pressure and adding lubrication along faults.”

Scott Detrow, a Phillips colleague, agreed with her line of reasoning. He purported that fracking operations in Pennsylvania have been the source of at least a dozen earthquakes in nearby Girard, Ohio. Detrow described the phenomenon in an April 4 column.

“The cause of these quakes, according to a preliminary report from Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources: a deep injection well where brine, fracking fluid and other drilling wastes are deposited deep underground,” he wrote. “It turns out the drillers were likely injecting the waste directly onto a previously unknown fault line.”

Although the USGS does not know precisely why this dramatic upsurge in regional earthquakes is occurring, Detrow contends that “the amount of Pennsylvania drilling waste going to injection wells increased 389% in the last six months of 2011.”

Prior to changes recently enacted by Pennsylvania, drillers were disposing of their brine and fracking fluids by taking them to water treatment facilities that processed them and then poured them into local rivers. The result, not surprisingly, was an upswing in bromide levels that killed fish and endangered drinking water safety.

Red Star, Black Gold in Iraq

How Israel, China are cleaning up in the oil game

• While Americans pay $4 per gallon at the pump, BP and CNPC get every barrel of oil for a mere $2

By Victor Thorn

In his video DIE AMERICA DIE,* Texe Marrs refers to “Operation Shekhinah” in which the nation of Israel receives huge financial benefits by laundering oil across its borders. In particular, oil pipelines originating in Iraq run through Israel and Lebanon to their final destination at the Port of Haifa. There, oil is loaded onto tankers—many of them owned by British Petroleum (BP)—and transported to China, which processes it in one of the country’s 25 new oil refineries.

Researchers such as Joe Vialls go even further by claiming that the entire motive behind Operation Iraqi Freedom was to accommodate Israel’s Operation Shekhinah. Ironically, it has been claimed that the original codename for the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq was Operation Iraqi Liberation, or OIL, though the veracity of this has been disputed.

Nonetheless, it was U.S. blood and treasure that seized control of the Iraqi oil fields from Saddam Hussein, only now to have American-paid troops and mercenaries guard the bounty that flows through Israel right to China.

“There is a red star over Iraq” that constitutes a significant part of the Rothschild family’s black gold empire, said Marrs. “American troops are in Iraq to protect Chinese companies and build them up into the next great superpower. We’re doing the same thing in Afghanistan, where U.S. servicemen protect Chinese workers who are mining a trillion dollars worth of copper, tin and aluminum reserves.”

Helping China’s refining and mining operations are U.S. companies like GE—that assists the Chinese in constructing their pipelines—and Caterpillar, which sells the Chinese earth-moving equipment in Afghanistan.

Marrs names three Democratic senators—Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and John Kerry (Mass.)—as being responsible for the Chinese-Iraqi oil deal legislation. Due to their meddling and political gamesmanship, two companies—BP and the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC)—landed a huge drilling contract where they’re only paying $2 per barrel to the Iraqi government.

It’s a slap in every American’s face. To date, the U.S. has spent $1T on the Iraq war, with nearly 4,500 casualties and tens of  thousands wounded. Yet, while Americans pay $4 per gallon at the pump, BP and CNPC get every barrel of oil for a mere $2.

Antonia Juhasz, author of the book The Tyranny of Oil, told al Jazeera, “BP and CNPC finalized the first new oil contract issued by Baghdad for the largest oil field in the country, the 17B-barrel supergiant Rumaila field.”

To confirm the price paid by this consortium, analyst Alex Munton told The Observer’s Terry Macalister on July 30, 2011, “Baghdad secured the services of BP and CNPC for $2 a barrel plus a $500M signing bonus.” The Rumaila territory already accounts for 40% of all Iraqi oil, with BP-CNPC planning to triple this output.

China plans on controlling the world’s energy markets. On March 25 it was announced that the Chinese and Saudi Arabia had inked a deal to construct a monstrous new oil refinery by 2014 near the Red Sea port town of Yanbu.

China already imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than does America, and now the deal between Saudi-owned Aramco and China’s Sinopec ups the ante even further. With the ability to refine 400K barrels of oil a day at this gigantic facility, America’s move away from processing oil becomes even more significant. To illustrate Chinese dominance over the U.S., the Chinese are also building refineries in conjunction with Egypt and Nigeria.

On March 19, petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski summarized how subservient and dependent the U.S. will be on a country that already finances $1T worth of U.S. national debt.

“China’s investment in oil infrastructure and refining capacity is unparalleled,” he said. “More importantly, it executes a consistent strategy of developing world-class refining facilities in partnership with OPEC suppliers. Such relationships mean economic leverage that could soon subordinate U.S. relations with the same countries.”

With China firmly establishing itself in the driver’s seat in terms of drilling and refining oil, one can only question how long it will be before a move is made to strip the U.S. of its vaunted position of holding the world’s global trading currency, the petrodollar, in favor of the petroyuan. 

* DIE AMERICA DIE (DVD, 80 minutes, $25 plus $4 S&H) is available from First Amendment Books, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Ste. 100, Washington, D.C. 20003. To order by credit card, call us toll free at 1-888-699-NEWS.


Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and the author of over 30 books.