The new Seven Sisters: oil and gas giants dwarf western rivals

By Carola Hoyos, FT

When an angry Enrico Mattei coined the phrase “the seven sisters” to describe the Anglo-Saxon companies that controlled the Middle East’s oil after the second world war, the founder of Italy’s modern energy industry could not have imagined the profound shift in power that would occur barely half a century later.

As oil prices have trebled over the past four years, a new group of oil and gas companies has risen to prominence. They have consolidated their power as aggressive resource holders and seekers and pushed the world’s biggest listed energy groups, which emerged out of the original seven sisters – ExxonMobil and Chevron of the US and Europe’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell – on to the sidelines and into an existential crisis.

The “new seven sisters”, or the most influential energy companies from countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, have been identified by the Financial Times in consultation with numerous industry executives. They are Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom, CNPC of China, NIOC of Iran, Venezuela’s PDVSA, Brazil’s Petrobras and Petronas of Malaysia. CONTINUE

March 12, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. The implications of this cannot be understated for the values of these nations that are taking over energy supplies will change the complexion of the world. When I commented on this yesterday stating, “…..there is currently a global shift of power taking place by the shift of money from open capitalistic societies to formally closed societies such as Russia and China….” this is in part what I was referring to.

    Because these forces (with the possible exception of India)are more in line with each other (as closed totalitarian societies)at some point there will be movement to use their consolidated power to establish global dominance. Until then the West will find itself in the coils of a large Boa being slowly squeezed.

    Also consider, most of these nations, if they do not already hate the US & Israel, would act in their own interest to the determent of the West and Israel to increase their wealth and power. There will be therefore a pact among them in order to build a confederacy, and it is likely that nations such as Russia and certainly Venezuela will acquiesces to the Arabs, for they need the Arabs on board if they are going to corner energy supplies. This of course will effect their policies towards, and strain relations with Israel.

    For the time being they will squeeze the West, for they still depend on US dollars for the inflow of their wealth. However, eventually they will reach the point that they can shift away from the dollar and destroy the economies of the West without too much negative impact on their nations.

    Europe may be spared in this if they play ball with the energy giants, for a shift is most feasible from the dollar to the Euro, and the Europeans would come on board with the anti-Western axis in exchange for the free flow of energy supplies to Europe. It is not that far fetched that Europeans may do that, France would have no problem doing it now and we have recently seen how that Russia can put the energy squeeze on Europe. How much more if they work in concert with other oil producing countries?

    Think about it — An anti-Western confederacy consisting of Russia, Venezuela, and the Arab oil producing nations. China which often votes with Russia may very well see it in their national interest to go along. All that is needed then to gain the upper-hand is a replacement for the US dollar as the international currency for oil exchange – enter the Euro – the temptation and pressure on the Europeans will be to much for them to resist and they will play ball with the energy cartel and their international policies will reflect this bondage. The implications for the US and Israel will be quite devastating in a number of ways.

    Skim over the pages linked below to get a better grasp than I can give you:

    Putin: Why Not Price Oil in Euros?

    Russia to price oil in euros in snub to US

    It hasn’t happened yet, but the world could rapidly change due to a power shift which will set of ripples in every direction effecting international policy in the Middle-East and everywhere virtually else in a negative way.

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