Friday, March 11, 2011

French intelligence on Libya

The Libyan National Oil Company website - like the internet in Libya generally - is down.

Below I have copied a section (from the Google Cache) on relationships with Total - the Paris based oil major.  It is clear that Total is thick with the Gadaffi regime.

So it comes as a big surprise to see Total (ahem the French Government) recognizing the Libyan rebels as a legitimate nation and exchanging ambassadors.  France does not sell arms to rebels or terrorists.  Recognition of the rebels as a nation is a basis for supplying them weapons.

France has gone further and is the major proponent of a no-fly zone.  It has also advocated bombing Libya.

Given the very substantial French oil interests in Libya it is absurd to think that Sarkozy (first and foremost a French Nationalist) did this without either the tacit acceptance of Total or without Total's interests in mind.

France is not keen to go to war (even with jets and no casualties) in support of American oil companies.  They think differently about their own oil companies.

Anyway I think we can conclude that Total (ahem the French Government) has a very different view of the outcome in Libya to that which I am getting in American and Australian media.  Moreover given the very strong presence of Total in North Africa I suspect their intelligence is better than the CIA and far better than (say) the New York Times.

Just noting.

Also noting that Britain is joining the French in calling for EU recognition.  Maybe BP also has a few tricks up their sleeve.


John

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Cache of the website of the Libyan National Oil Company




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نبذة عن الشركة وطبيعة نشاطها محليا:-
توتال للاستكشاف والإنتاج ليبيا
تعتبر شركة توتال متواجدة في ليبيا منذ 50 سنة. واليوم شركة توتال للاستكشاف والإنتاج ليبيا إحدى الشركات المتعاقدة مع المؤسسة الوطنية للنفط في العديد من المشاريع، أهمها تطوير حقل المبروك الواقع شرق خليج سرت، حقل الجرف في البحر الواقع بقرب من الحدود التونسية. كلا المشروعان يتم تنفيذها مع الشركة الأخت شركة توتال للنفط ليبيا ( سي. بي.تي.ال).
وقعت شركة توتال للاستكشاف والإنتاج اتفاقية استكشاف وإنتاج مع المؤسسة الوطنية للنفط بمنطقة A42 في سيرنايكة (شحات)، وبمنطقتي NC191-192بحوض مرزق ومناطق سرت.
شركة توتال شريك في NC115- NC186- NC187 و NC190 والمشغلة من قبل شركة ريبسول في حوض مرزق.
Company profile and its local activity
Total EP Libya
Total has been present in Libya for the past 50 years. Today, Total E&P Libye is in partnership with the National Oil Corporation on a number of projects, among which the development of the Mabruk field in the East Libyan Basin of Sirt, and the Al Jurf field at sea, next to the Tunisian border.  Both these projects are operated by a sister company, Compagnie des Pétrole Total Libye (CPTL).
Total E&P Libye signed with NOC exploration and production agreements on the area A42 in Cyrenaica, as well as on the areas NC191-192 in the Murzuk and Sirte regions.
Total is a partner on the block NC115, and blocks NC186, NC187 and NC190, operated by Repsol in the Murzuk basin.
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نبذة عن نشاط الشركة دوليا:-
توتال شركة مساهمة
توتال شركة  طاقة متعددة الجنسيات فعالة في الاكتشاف والمبادرة لتلبية احتياجات الطاقة البشرية.
تحتل شركة توتال المرتبة الرابعة بدراجة عالمية على مستوى الرأي العام التجاري في المنتجات الكيميائية، الزيت والغاز، وتعمل في أكثر من 130 دولة ولديها أكثر من 95,000 موظف من جنسيات مختلفة.
 بالإضافة إلى إدارة أعملنا حسب أعلى مستويات السلوك المهني، نحافظ على الالتزام وبالشفافية والحوار.
 إستراتجيتنا مكرسه لمواجهة التحديات في جميع أعمالنا عند تطور المصادر الطبيعية، حماية البيئية، اندماج عملياتنا في الثقافات البلدان المستضيفة والحوار مع المجتمع المدني.والاحترام للآخرين
Company international activity profile:-
TOTAL SA
Total is a multinational energy company committed to leveraging innovation and initiative to provide a sustainable response to humankind’s energy requirements.

The fourth largest publicly-traded integrated oil and gas company and a world-class chemicals manufacturer, Total operates in more than 130 countries and has over 95, 000 employees.

 In addition to conducting our business according to the highest standards of professional behavior, we maintain an ongoing commitment to transparency dialogue and respect for others.

We are strategically dedicated to meeting the challenges faced by all our businesses when developing natural resources, protecting the environment, integrating our operations into host country cultures, and dialoguing with civil society.
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8
نبذة عن نشاط الشركة دوليا:-
توتال شركة مساهمة
توتال شركة  طاقة متعددة الجنسيات فعالة في الاكتشاف والمبادرة لتلبية احتياجات الطاقة البشرية.
تحتل شركة توتال المرتبة الرابعة بدراجة عالمية على مستوى الرأي العام التجاري في المنتجات الكيميائية، الزيت والغاز، وتعمل في أكثر من 130 دولة ولديها أكثر من 95,000 موظف من جنسيات مختلفة.
 بالإضافة إلى إدارة أعملنا حسب أعلى مستويات السلوك المهني، نحافظ على الالتزام وبالشفافية والحوار.
 إستراتجيتنا مكرسه لمواجهة التحديات في جميع أعمالنا عند تطور المصادر الطبيعية، حماية البيئية، اندماج عملياتنا في الثقافات البلدان المستضيفة والحوار مع المجتمع المدني.والاحترام للآخرين
Company international activity profile:-
TOTAL SA
Total is a multinational energy company committed to leveraging innovation and initiative to provide a sustainable response to humankind’s energy requirements.

The fourth largest publicly-traded integrated oil and gas company and a world-class chemicals manufacturer, Total operates in more than 130 countries and has over 95, 000 employees.

 In addition to conducting our business according to the highest standards of professional behavior, we maintain an ongoing commitment to transparency dialogue and respect for others.

We are strategically dedicated to meeting the challenges faced by all our businesses when developing natural resources, protecting the environment, integrating our operations into host country cultures, and dialoguing with civil society.
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13 comments:

IF said...

Incompetence? Madame Merkel started messing with him again. Don't think the rebels have the equipment to make it for another two weeks, but who knows what kind of support they will receive?

Maybe Sarkozy noticed that Libya's investments in France are larger than the reverse. How could he possibly lose?

John Hempton said...

I don't think that Total is incompetent. And I suspect Total were in his ear.

Moreover the Brits are now backing him.

All very strange...

Alaric Investments said...

France definitely has significant interests in Africa and the French media have been way out in front on coverage of the recent events, particularly AFP and France24 (indeed much of the coverage I have seen seems to come from AFP).

Quite surprising to see Sarkozy taking this much interest this early on - very risky for him with an election on the horizon and the obvious reluctance of the French to become in significant foreign entanglements (minor entanglements in sub-saharan Africa are ok).

This definitely bears watching...

Anonymous said...

John, can you expand on this? Do they think the rebles will ultimately win, but that the Q wioll hit the oil fields first if this is allowed to continue? Are there investment implications?

狂猪 said...

Are the oil fields mostly in rebel controlled regions? If so, I'd think that explains everything.

The news is coming out that the rebels are poorly organized, poorly trained and lacked heavy weaponry. On reflection, there really was no reason to expect otherwise (was there?).

The rebels had a good start. However, Gaddafi will win unless the rebels receive overt support from the west. I suspect Gaddafi will regain control within a month.

Libya is 4x the size of California. However there is only ~6 million people which is about the population of the region around San Francisco bay area. There just isn't enough people in a large open area (desert) to have a long drawn out civil war against a well equip army.

The French jump the gun siding with the rebel because of their initial success and because of Total.

There is a silver lining to all this for the rest of the world. Countries in the middle east are spending huge sums to plicate their populace with government largess. There will be a big drive to replenish that sum and balance the government budget by selling oil. Not to mention to take advantage of oil's recent highs. This includes Libya.

Guillaume said...

I think you might be a little off on Sarkozy's nationalism. He is probably one of the least nationalist French presidents since WWII, having fully reintegrated NATO, taking vacations in the US, etc. They even call him "Sarko l'Américain" in France.
But Total is a different matter, it's been at the center of French politics for a very long time.

Laban said...

It's funny. I was about to write a post pointing out that Brit PM Cameron was getting the worst of both worlds - annoying Gaddafi (and we saw from the Swiss affair that he will up the stakes when annoyed) - while not doing him any material damage. After the Blair administration and BP spent so much time getting him onside, too. The SAS were in Libya, training the Libyan Army, only last year.

"Men avenge slight injuries, but not grave ones".

I was assuming that BPs investment was more or less a write off.

Now you're making me think again. Could it be that Cameron and Sarkozy have a cunning plan ? It would run contrary to Cameron's current performance, but I suppose it's just theoretically possible.

notarealdr said...

Hi John,
Having seen so many US forays into foreign disputes I only hope we see Europe pull it's collected finger out this time and do it's own dirty work for a change instead of relying once more on the US. I note the french NEVER help out but are happy to sit on the sidelines whilst they profit from the sale of weapons and weapons systems to both sides.
France are certainly very happy with their position with Total in Yemen whilst the US protects them via intelligence for cash to keep Yemen onside.

Laban said...

I wonder if the China National Oil Corporation are on the phone to Tripoli?

Anonymous said...

I read your post as saying France has better intel in Libya. But another view of France's actions is that they have different interests. There have been reports of pilfering (imagine that!) by Gaddafi from Total's work. And the pilfered money might have been invested with/by Anglo or American firms, hence the different takes.

Anonymous said...

John,

I think it more likely that French interest lies in trying to destroy some/all of the evidence of the depth of their links to Gadaffi.

I suspect the British Govt has something it would rather remain secret.

In some ways it reminds me of the line (jokingly) attributed to Rumsfeld when asked how he knew Saddam had WMD's - I know because I sold them to him.

Laban said...

I am truly impressed that your call is vindicated - didn't think there was any chance of the NFZ 'flying', with Merkel and Ashton (EU foreign minister) against, and a likely Russian or Chinese veto.

caque said...

Looks like you were right.
http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/france-envisions-strong-role-in-libya/

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