TRIPOLI (SatireWire.com) – As chaos mounts in Libya, concerned petroleum firms across the globe have made a courageous pledge to fly all of Libya’s oil to safety.
“We have watched the events in Libya unfold in horror, and we cannot stand idly by and allow billions of innocent barrels to be in harm’s way,” said CEO James Mulva of ConocoPhillips, one of 10 firms to send planes and ships to rescue oil from Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi.
Energy companies said they were particularly alarmed after rumors spread that Gaddafi plans to destroy oil fields, much as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein did during the Gulf War. Executives said they were shocked and saddened the admittedly ruthless dictator would stoop so low.
“Gaddafi used to be someone you could count on,” said BP spokesman Keith Hart. “Yes, he was behind the Pan Am 103 bombing, which killed 280, and the French airplane downing that killed 170, and the Berlin disco bombing that killed and wounded 200, and he funded the Irish Republican Army, which killed thousands. But he always treated oil with dignity.”
Libya produces 1.6 million barrels of oil a day, or roughly 2 percent of the world’s output. Gas and oil prices have surged as the continued violence threatens to interrupt operations. This makes any rescue attempt dangerous, but the risk is worth the effort, said Hess CEO John B. Hess.
“Two percent may seem small, but put it in perspective,” Hess said. “If 2 percent of the world’s population were in danger, we would be talking about 120 million people.
“That would be a frightening number,” he added. “If people were as valuable as oil.”
According to energy firm officials, millions of barrels of oil are stranded in Libya, many cowering in fear as they await liberation from the widening crisis. Billions more are laying low, untapped and underground, hoping for a chance to escape to Europe and the West.
In Spain, energy company Respol says it has been scrambling to get information on its oil’s whereabouts.
“We have not seen or been in contact with any of our oil for the past two days and we are very concerned for its welfare,” said company spokesman Xavi Torres. “The situation is chaotic, but we will do everything we can to free the oil from this barbarous dictator. Unless he remains in power, in which case please replace ‘barbarous dictator’ with ‘valued ally.’”
Italian firm ENI, meanwhile, has set up a toll-free number for anyone who has seen its oil. German company Wintershall has posted flyers across the country with pictures of its missing product. “Have you seen this barrel?” the caption reads.
In anticipation of rescue, thousands of barrels of oil have packed into Tripoli’s airport, competing for space with foreign nationals who also hope to escape the widening crisis. The fight for seat space has proven volatile as passengers protested, with many chanting “People first, oil second!” Repeated attempts by oil company officials to correct their math were rebuffed.
“I have a first-class ticket out and I want to sit next to my husband, not a barrel of crude oil,” said British national Helen Gerrard, hoping to make it back to her home outside London.
Marathon Oil spokesman Lee Heardly, however, promised passengers this would not happen. “Only refined oil will be in first class,” Heardly said. “Crude oil will fly economy. Obviously.”
On the political front, governments from the United States to Italy have been criticized for not speaking out stronger on Libya. Many, including President Obama, have threatened sanctions against Gaddafi and come out in support of Libya’s people, but nothing more.
“Frankly, we are disappointed that the President of the United States and other leaders have not clearly demanded that Libya’s oil be free,” said Ray Irani, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, America’s fourth-largest U.S. oil company. “What do we pay these people for?”
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