The Rollercoaster That Is The Oil Business -Ups And Downs But Always At The Top

2008/2009 was a year of turmoil for finance and oil. The price of oil was extremely volatile and in a rollercoaster year oil prices ranged from $45 to over $146.

The year 2014/2015 will reveal a pattern similar to 2008/2009 and the utterings of negative Labour politicians, (such as Jackie Baillie, Dugdale and Murphy) seeking to score points over more forward looking members of the Scottish government, should be given consideration using for guidance previous performances of the Oil companies.

Labour Party politicians are well versed in the politics of envy and the immediate but forward planning is a stranger to their thinking. Conversely the SNP government are planning ahead and gearing laid off staff for the future pick-up of the industry by protecting the on-going training of younger persons.

In 2008/2009, (a year of turmoil) the top 10 performing Companies in the WORLD were:

shell

1. Royal Dutch Shell

Up two spots from last year’s global list, Royal Dutch Shell raked in $15 billion more in sales than Exxon Mobil. And as Europe’s largest oil producer, it doesn’t look to be slowing down: Shell has made a bold move by investing up to $18 billion in a plant in Qatar that would turn natural gas into cleaner-burning diesel fuel. It hopes to bring the Pearl GTL, as the facility is called, online by 2010 and expects it to produce enough fuel to fill more than 160,000 cars per day.

Revenues: USD 458,361.0 millions Rank: 1 (Previous rank: 3) Employees: 102,000 Country: Netherlands. Website: http://www.shell.com/

800px-Esso_Stabekk

2. Exxon Mobil

Exxon pulled in $443 billion in revenues and $45 billion in earnings last year. Its investors reaped some of the rewards, with $40 billion in shareholder distributions, up $4.4 billion from 2007. Exxon is investing heavily in the growing demand for liquefied natural gas, adding four new gas liquefaction facilities in 2009 at a total price tag of more than $20 billion. Each facility will produce 7.8 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year.

Revenues: USD 442,851.0 millions Rank: 2 (Previous rank: 2) Employees: 104,700 Country: U.S. Website: http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/

bp

4. BP

After a stellar start to the year — profits for BP’s first and second quarters combined for an impressive $17 billion — the London-based oil company was hit hard, like others in the industry, by tumbling oil prices, causing a fourth quarter loss of $3.3 billion.

Revenues: USD 367,053.0 millions Rank: 4 (Previous rank: 4) Employees: 92,000 Address: London Country: Britain Website: http://www.bp.com

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5. Chevron Caltex

The perennial No. 2 U.S. oil company — behind Exxon — boosted profits by 28% in 2008, more than any other super major on this list. Sophisticated refineries helped Chevron blunt losses from crude’s price drop in the second half of the year. In previous years, Chevron has been able to mask production declines at its oil fields with acquisitions, rising oil prices and its refining business.

But with production rates still lower than five years before, Chevron is spending $23 billion this year to bolster overseas fields and expand refineries. That will take a while to pay off if oil prices remain depressed. The upside of low oil prices for Chevron is that the giant can buy small competitors on the cheap.

Revenues: USD 263,159.0 millions Rank: 5 (Previous rank: 6) Employees: 66,716 Address: California Country: U.S. Website: http://www.chevron.com

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The Chilcott Inquiry – Failures Of The Military Elite – Promotion Or Death??

lord boyce

1. The Chilcott Inquiry – The Role Of the Military Elite

a. Top Brass who failed to stand up to politicians over the rush to war in Iraq are likely to face criticism in the long-awaited report

b. Senior military officers advised the inquiry that they were concerned about the pressure of fighting wars simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan, shortages of equipment, and an inability to prepare British troops properly for war because Tony Blair did not want the plans to become public.

c. In a democracy, it is the politicians’ job to give orders to the military and expect them to be carried out, but the report is likely to raise questions over whether the Generals could have highlighted more forcefully, warnings about the army’s shortcomings in terms of it’s readiness for war.

d. Admiral Lord Michael Boyce, the then Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Iraq Inquiry he had been slapped down by ministers for complaining in the run-up to the invasion. He said then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who had never served in the Armed Forces, told him to make his military assessments ‘more of a glass half-full rather than half-empty’.

e. He also said he was banned from buying equipment for troops until four months before the invasion – contributing to shortages of body armour and other kit in the early days of the conflict. Some units, including the 7th Armoured Brigade – the historic and war-hardened Desert Rats – were only battle-ready the day before the invasion.

f. Asked by the inquiry if he had confidence Lord Boyce and Mr Hoon had passed the concerns of the time to the Prime Minister, a sceptical-sounding General Lord Richard Dannatt, then the Assistant Chief of the General Staff, said: ‘They told me they were.’ Lord Boyce said he raised his concerns with Mr Blair – but was given short shrift.

g. It was not until November, just four months before the war, that defence chiefs were able to make ‘overt’ preparations.

DEFENCE Chief 1

h. General Lord Michael Walker, promoted from head of the Army to Chief of the Defence Staff in May 2003 – two months after the invasion – admitted to the inquiry the military was ‘overstretched’. But he has stood accused of pushing politicians to include more ground troops to boost ‘morale’ among soldiers – a claim he vehemently denied. A year later, he said, Britain’s entire military top brass threatened to quit in protest at Gordon Brown’s proposals for savage defence cuts while the UK was fighting on two fronts.

dannat

i. Lord Dannatt, who was involved in planning for the invasion, told the inquiry the ‘desire’ of the Army to send a large force to the war zone was ‘not huge’. But he added: ‘From a professional point of view… there was a bit of a feeling that if the US was going to go in and conduct an operation… there may have been a little bit of a professional feeling, “We should be doing this.”

j. Sir Michael Graydon, a former head of the RAF, said yesterday any criticism in the report would probably look at the advice of the military advisers in drafting the discredited dossiers which made the so-called case for war. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2920788/Jeremy-Heywood-accused-defying-vow-release-documents.html

brown

2. I previously wrote to many aspects of Tony Blairs rush to war and the many failures of military heirachy and politicians. A number are listed below.

https://caltonjock.com/2014/10/30/sir-jeremy-heywood-the-iraq-inquiry-other-controversies-are-his-hands-clean/
https://caltonjock.com/2014/10/04/oh-what-a-lovely-war-or-how-the-hell-did-we-end-up-here-again/
https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/29/hoon-defence-secretary-iraq-no-answers/
https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/29/iraq-back-to-haunt-the-uk/
https://caltonjock.com/2015/01/20/lest-we-forget-blairs-legacy-month-of-war-our-young-men-die-for-what-remember-very-recent-past-when-you-vote-for-your-childrens-future-in-2015/
https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/28/afghanistan-the-labour-party/
https://caltonjock.com/2014/08/29/part-time-defence-secretary-at-a-time-of-war/

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