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Why the Highway 12 intensity

If you’ve been watching the battle over the oil industry megaloads now slated to begin using High 12 east of Lewiston, starting February 1, you may have been struck by the large number of companies involved and the intensity behind their determination to proceed.

Why is getting this equipment to Alberta so important – at least, important to the companies?

A fine article explaining just that is out in the British Columbia The Tyee, which paints the oil industry mega-corporations – the “seven sisters” of legend – as being in a tight spot, a position of decline and desperation stemming from the rise of OPEC in the seventies.

Points to consider: “With the exception of Chevron, supermajor share prices have not gained any value over the past five years. “It would tend to indicate that these companies are not growing,” said Robert Walsh, an energy consultant who spent 26 years with Royal Dutch Shell. Though all the supermajors hold top ten spots in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly’s oil company rankings for 2010, they’re still placed lower than Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco and Iran’s NIOC. And the Financial Times in 2007 handed the “Seven Sisters” mantle to a new generation of energy firms, all state-owned. Much of that is a function of the reality that supermajors actually control very little of the world’s oil and gas. Resource figures from 2008 place ExxonMobil in a distant 17th among all energy firms, the highest even, of the western-owned private players.”

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