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Oil purchase

Here’s a conjunction of stories that bears investigation. Both Chevron and Exxon are bidding for a stake in YukosSibneft. YukosSibneft is the biggest oil company in Russia, and one of the biggest in the world. Meanwhile, the US and Russia are discussing Russian oil contracts in Iraq.

The obvious question is whether or not we’re seeing some quid pro quo here. Would the Kremlin speed up the Yukos/Sibneft merger and expedite the purchase by either Chevron or Exxon if the US agreed to honor Russia’s oil contracts? Would the US find it more worthwhile to make that deal if Chevron was getting a chunk of the revenues via a Russian company?

Well, there might be a quid pro quo, but YukosSibneft is not among the Russian companies with Iraqi oil interests. So, sure, there’s probably a dealinvolving Security Council votes and oil contracts, but the US doesn’t seem to have much of a stake in the YukosSibneft negotiations. Advantage: “there’s no conspiracy here, citizen.”

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