- Posted August 19, 2013 by
Libyan Oil Production Crippled in Battle for the Bangladeshis
2 years after the Libyan Revolution, Bangladeshi men have largely replaced the waves of African and Egyptian workers who left the country during the conflict. These Bangladeshi workers will work for cheaper wages than Egyptians, they are punctual, and most of them speak English. The 500 to 700 Libyan Dinars per month that is paid to the typical Bangladeshi manual laborer may seem minimum wage to Libyans, but the Bangladeshi men who have migrated to Libya for that most minimal of wages were not there two years ago. They were in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf dictator states. If we follow the exodus of these Bangladeshi workers from the Gulf and into Libya, what we are left with is a money trail. The oil “disruptions” that that have brought Libyan oil production to it’s knees and the lowering of the Saudi minimum wage that continues to pull Bangladeshi workers into the new, higher, Libyan minimum wage labor market are events that are intricately connected. The Saudis want their Bangladeshi workers back and they are literally holding the Libyan oil pipelines, and Libya’s future, hostage.
Things have been rough for the House of Saud lately. The Saudi family depends on a system of patronage to ensure its survival. The Saudi royal family uses petrodollars, or billions of dollars in oil revenues, to keep powerful people in Saudi Arabia happily paid so that they, in turn, keep the rest of Saudi Arabia happy, or at least quiet, and do not question their dictator. If the people do start to question their dictator, there is a system of people who profit from silencing those questions. This system requires a lot of money. Saudi Arabia is running out of money.
Women may soon be driving in Saudi Arabia and it has nothing to do with western diplomacy. It is due to the fact that fewer and fewer ordinary Saudi families can afford to hire a Bangladeshi driver for the women in the family. Things get uncomfortable in Saudi Arabia when men can’t afford drivers, and then can’t work regular hours because they then have to drive the women. As the money for patronage dries up, the House of Saud is desperately trying to fill even the most menial of jobs, normally reserved for Bangladeshi workers, with Saudi citizens to placate opposition just a little bit longer. They have even resorted to setting up police roadblocks to crack down on Bangladeshi workers who are seen as stealing jobs and raising Saudi unemployment.
Saudi students in America who fail out of school now are shipped right back home, as the government tightens down on those would normally be able to coast for the time of the their visa, doing nothing, while still receiving government support. There just aren’t as many petrodollar billions to throw around these days. That is because as of just a month ago, Libyan oil production was roaring at 1.7 MBD and was only poised to go higher. For the House of Saud, something had to give.
Currently, Saudi Arabia serves as the world’s swing supplier of Oil. That means that it should have the reserves and technology to absorb high or low swings in the oil market. It does not actually have those reserves and the rapid progress of the Libyan oil sector was competing with known oil reserves to the extent that Libya’s oil production potential is a death sentence to the Saudi patronage system.
OPEC, for the most part, agrees on unspoken quotas that each oil producing member country must abide by to regulate and control the global oil market. For one country to produce more oil, such as Libya, in order for that oil to still be worth anything, other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, must produce less. As a swing supplier, Saudi Arabia was more than happy to absorb the Libyan oil shortages that sanctions and then the Libyan Revolution caused. Then the Royal Saudi dictator nightmare began: Libya not only began to meet it’s OPEC quota, it was in the processes of pushing for even higher quotas as vast new oil reserves are being discovered beneath Libyan land and sea. This not only means that billions and billions of petrodollars will be going to Libya instead of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf dictators states, it means that Libya’s strategic position in the global oil market and it’s vast untapped reserves serve as a threat to not only the Saudi throne in Riyadh, but their OPEC throne as well.
The troubles in Egypt now can also be seen in this mirror. Any Libyan lite sweet crude could bypass the volitle Suez canal. In order for oil prices to peak, as they will...to maybe $140-150 per barrel, the same Saudi and Gulf funded mercenaries who compose the militias holding Libyan oil facilities hostage will work to keep pressure on the Suez Canal. As we speak, Saudi Arabia is reaping a windfall as it is allowed, or begged, to make up for Libyan shortages and sell it's oil at a premium due to the "instability" that it has orchestrated in the Libyan oil sector and in the Egyptian Suez Canal threat.
There are no Libyan oil workers striking in Libya. This is an oddly accepted screen for rouge militias that have commandeered Libyan oil facilities. The weak Libyan government cannot or will not confront the militias because those militias are supported, armed, and funded by Saudi Arabia and Gulf dictator states. The weak members of the Libyan government cannot or will not act either because they are outgunned by the Gulf and Saudi mercenary militias, or they are working with the Gulf and Saudi interests to direct these mercenary militias. This has resulted in a coup, which occurred to President Mohammed Magariaf, and the rouge militias being absorbed as oddly named “security shield” units that are then “assigned” security functions at Libyan oil fields and airports. These Saudi and Gulf generated, supported, armed, and funded mercenary militias are the “protesting oil workers”.
The Bangladeshi workers followed the petrodollar billions flowing from Saudi Arabia to Libya and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf dictator states are now crippling Libya’s oil production in attempt to get their Bangladeshi workers, and their status quo, back.