Wednesday, April 02, 2014

That Tiny Little Company Called ExxonMobil

Somehow by accident, I ran across this anti-petroleum website yesterday with the screaming headline of "Exxon to World: Drop Dead". It goes on to say:
"ExxonMobil is saying it doesn’t believe governments will keep their internationally agreed commitments to limit climate change to safe levels. This should not come as any surprise. Of course they don’t believe governments are going to address climate change adequately — they are in fact betting billions on the failure of climate and clean energy policy. And they’re shoring up their bet by buying politicians and spending millions to sow doubt and promote inaction."
I'm not here to defend ExxonMobil, but merely here to show how little a massive company like ExxonMobil is, but more importantly, how believing that they're "buying" of politicians is also of little consequence to the world.

The reason that owning politicians is of such little consequence is that most of the oil reserves in the world are own not by ExxonMobil, BP and all the other supermajors, but instead by National Oil Companies (NOCs) - Saudi Aramco tops the list, followed by the National Iranian Oil Company, Qatar Petroleum, the Iraq National Oil Company, Petroleum of Venezuela, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Pemex (Mexico), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the National Oil Company of Libya and then Sonatrach of Algeria rounds out the top 10. (Source). ExxonMobil is nowhere on the list. And since since these are all government owned companies, there is no need for ExxonMobil or anyone else to "buy" government influence - the governments and the oil companies are one and the same. According to the World Bank, NOCs accounted for 75% global oil production and controlled 90% of proven oil reserves in 2010.

So ExxonMobil can literally tell the world to drop dead and it can own every single politician in the country and nothing is going to change. Or going the other way, it can go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy with its assets sold at 99% discount and nothing is going to change. ExxonMobil used to be the 900-lb. gorilla that no one could ignore and that everyone could blame all the world's problems on, but that isn't true anymore. It's still plenty big, it's still the largest of the independent oil companies, but it's just a tiny player in a massive, massive game.

Previous Years
April 2, 2013 - Improving Control over Polymerizations

April 2, 2009 - Hydrogels vs. Maggots

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