The Libyan Revolution may not be about oil and gas, however, as oil prices fell on the expectation of a return of some production from this North African state, Arabs of the Middle East certainly believe that that was the reason for this war.
As Rosemary Hollis, Middle East expert, explained on Sky News this morning, after explaining Britain’s position on this conflict – which is the third major conflict that the former imperial power has been involved since 9/11 – she would be met with the reply: ‘It’s all about Oil.”
Saif ul Islam – whose appearance threw into doubt most of the claims of the rebels and Nato – is according to Ms Hollis, someone who drives a hard bargain around the table, and he gets what he asks for, which may explain the delay in turning on the Libyan oil tap.
Arabs have long believed that the wars of the Middle East have been about oil.
Their view was probably formed by the eviction of Saddam Hussein’s army from the oil kingdom of Kuwait. After this, it was common to hear young Arabs say that Saddam had intended to keep the oil for the Arabs. With China being welcomed in capitals around Africa, minnows like Libya could srike a harder bargain in their negotiations with the oil-guzzling West and thus become players in their own right.
Well, that may be the case, but any increase in Libya’s production will only ease the pressure on the world’s largest oil supplier, Saudi Arabia temporarily. The major hole in supply remains that Iran and Iraq – which hold less than 10 percent of the world’s oil supply each – which are for various political and security reasons unable to contibute anything like their full capacity.
All this means that if the Libyan war drags on and the real motivation was only about oil and gas, Britian, France and Italy will find this to be a very costly and ultimately fruitless adventure at a time when their economies can not afford it.