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Unthinkable oil prices due to deceit and lies

Wael Mahdi

Published: Updated:

Oil prices have reached levels previously unthinkable, hitting thresholds they had not approached for nearly eight years. Today, brent crude oil is priced at $90 a barrel, and WTI is not very far behind. Forecasts suggest barrel prices could soar to $100.

This indicates two things: consumer countries have failed to plan their energy policies and estimate future demand, and producers have lied about their production capacities.

Consumer countries did not hesitate to march behind the fraudsters claiming that the future is for electric cars and renewable energy. These fraudsters have amassed millions of followers on Twitter, and the Great Fraudster even managed to convince the world that bitcoin is the future and that electric cars will be the end of OPEC countries. In parallel, climate change fraudsters have condemned the earth to doom in 30 years.

Once we take a good look at these scams, we understand the sudden attacks on oil, gas, and good old gas-fueled vehicles.

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I am certainly not against protecting the environment. On the contrary, I advocate for sustainability, because humans are consuming in a way that will destroy our natural resources. However, I cannot accept that the future of energy is being promoted by that same Great Fraudster who takes people for fools in order to sell his electric car, which only high-income classes can afford.

These and other fraudsters have influenced public opinion in consumer countries, which resulted in less investments in oil and gas and more reluctance to put funds toward that sector for fear of a collapse in demand, hence the present energy crisis.

Besides all these scammers, another category of liars has emerged among oil producers. These deceivers convinced people that the world will flood in oil because of previous supply from Kazakhstan fields and current pumping from shale oil basins. Where is that third shale oil revolution that made such a fuss, anyway? Where are those who rumored that there are layers in Texas that we have yet to reach?

As if that weren’t enough, many OPEC+ member states are also lying about their production numbers to trick other producing countries when it’s time to negotiate on shares. Some small producers will claim their production capacity stands at high levels in order to secure a high production share, when, in fact, they do not have that capacity. Thus, when market demand suddenly rises, they cannot pump more fuel, let alone provide the quantities agreed upon under the current production agreement.

In the oil market, figures are always inaccurate and incorrect. Western consumer countries are blindly following fraudsters, and all parties, be they states or organizations, are lying. The result: an energy crisis for which every citizen of the world is paying dearly. Amid all these lies, we can at least cherish the wise voices that realize the danger of what’s happening and call for doing the right thing. But unfortunately, their calls are falling on deaf ears.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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