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Why Is Oil Always at the Forefront of Confrontation?!

Why Is Oil Always at the Forefront of Confrontation?!

Tuesday, 24 May, 2022 - 10:15
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

We have always asked a persistent question: Who leads the other... politics or the economy? Through rapid developments and data, many tend to consider the economy as a leader.

Personally, when I went through many files, I had a tendency to draw the same conclusion. However, what I have seen lately, namely the change in what can be described as international values, has made me reconsider all my old convictions.

What is certain is that neither the economy nor politics have the permanent leadership, but rather the temporary interest according to each file and each country. Moreover, change in the file itself may occur with the development of the circumstances, and the presence of factors that diminish the role of one or the other. This is the fact that we must always remember.

The aforementioned narration is just to say directly that the dealing of some countries with oil, and I mean their stance towards the OPEC and the OPEC+, stems from their political positions in the first place towards the producing countries. Therefore, you find the media focusing on the news about high oil prices (in the regulated markets), and deliberately ignoring all inflation in the gas markets and the rest of the (unregulated) energy markets.

Here, I may recall facts detailed by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the veteran energy official and minister in Saudi Arabia, in order to face the systematic media manipulations that are trying to blame the oil industry for the failures of countries, parties and presidents.

Figures published few days ago showed an increase of 70 percent in the prices of petroleum derivatives and 300 percent in the prices of other materials, such as gas and coal. This necessarily means that regulating the market through the OPEC+ is beneficial even for consumers...

Moreover, returning to the refineries’ profit margin, it averaged 6% over the past five years, while it is currently 650%. This indicates a shortage in the refining capacity and predicts a problem due to calls for reducing investments in refineries.

Not only that; the price of crude oil represents less than 40% of the total price of petroleum derivatives paid by the consumer at gas stations, and the remaining percentages go to other elements, such as taxes, refinery profits, and so on.

We don’t exaggerate when we say that energy is linked to many other files, and is used to create systematic campaigns of distortion, always against Saudi Arabia and sometimes other countries, with the aim to pressure the decision to achieve fixed and varying goals. They develop according to circumstances, stages, and relations between countries.

What we must constantly remember is that the values of the press, freedom and rights are just Western slogans, used when needed, as pressure factors.

I refer to my article previously published here, entitled: “The Ukraine Crisis: The New McCarthyism in the Terror of Opponents,” which says: “The idea of free trade, and keeping it away from politics, holds many lies... because companies in the fields of oil, gas, entertainment, technology, finance, retail, automobiles and food, in addition to consulting companies and others, cannot withdraw all together by chance or by coincidence, but upon the direct orders of Western governments. A series of high-profile brands have pulled out of Russia (as a result of the crisis with Ukraine). Those giants claim that they are independent companies and receive no instructions from Western governments, which is a big lie...”

We have long been consuming Western lies… In order to promote them, Arab ambassadors have quarreled more than the Westerners themselves. They used to belittle our ideas and our understanding, under the pretext of the civilized Western project, the falsity of which has been proven by time and developments.

Our narrative must be powerful, as much as the intensity and ferocity of their lies.

We must clarify our attitude, our products, our culture, and our way as an equal partner, not as subordinates who consume without thinking.

It is high time that we begin the conquest with our civilized ideas and our visions, while they sleep in ancient history!

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