The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Imperialist Race for Oil and Gas

Sep 19, 2011

The imperialist powers of the anti-Qaddafi coalition couldn’t wait for the end of combat to start the race for oil, gas and infrastructure contracts. They are showing what they really came looking for in Libya.

Build, destroy, rebuild, there is always business. And the industrial companies are more interested in these markets than freedom for the Libyan population.

Military coalition members are jostling and scrambling to grab a war dividend from Libya’s resources of gas, and even more important, its oil reserves estimated at 45 billion barrels.

The war for markets has only just begun. If the experts can be believed, Libya will be “a true Eldorado for French and British businesses who supported the National Transition Council.” Sarkozy, president of France, got a jump start on other coalition members by recognizing the National Transition Council (NTC). The NTC returned the favor, claiming it would reserve 35% of the oil contracts for France. On the other hand, Italy, the old colonial power in Libya, which didn’t intervene militarily, will lose ground.

But nothing is settled. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar also brought military and financial support to the Libyan insurgents. The UAE wants to gain control of Libyan ports, while Qatar is looking to obtain gas. The U.S. and Great Britain have already “settled oil contracts on good terms with the post-Qaddafi regime,” according to the news media.

Then in June, Libya’s NTC threw out a bombshell: it cancelled contracts obtained by bribes. But it quickly backpedaled, not wanting to annoy its imperialist supporters. In July, it promised to honor all financial and oil contracts made under the Qaddafi regime, bribes included.

Business goes on as usual in the “new” Libya, just like the old. The living conditions of the Libyan population, as well as any democratic freedoms, are the least concern of the great powers and these industrial companies.