The callous greed in the oil patch seems to know no limits. Here we have a company, Royal Dutch Shell, bursting with earnings, at the apogee of its yearly returns, going after the last dollar or Euro to make things fatter still. This to the cold dismissal of the brave Iranians who rose en masse in 2009 to rally for free elections only to be put down brutally by the Mullah's goon squads, financed in large measure by the plenitude of oil revenues streaming from Iran's export oil loadings. The world was outraged, but helplessly stood by as the slaughter continued. From far and wide came calls to impose sanctions on Iran and to impose embargoes on Iran's products. One would have thought any responsible organization would have desisted its activities with what had now evolved into a murderous regime.
Clearly conscious of the public outrage that would result from its moral turpitude continuing to enrich the Mullahs, Shell did all it could to hide its transactional baseness with the Iranian dictatorship. As example in March 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported that the tanker Front Page left the port of Fujairah, U.A.E. to sail on to Saudi Arabia.
All well and good. But wait, tracking information revealed a very different course. The Front Page made an unreported stop along the coast of Iran to load a cargo of Iranian oil. Who was the charterer of this brazen attempt to hide their continuing 'business as usual' with an Iranian government in the midst of imposing draconian oppression on its people. Yes, Shell Oil.
Since that time very little has changed, if not in becoming more grotesque. Shell's gorging on Iranian oil continued ongoing. Just this past week CNBC reported that "Shell Scrambles to Pay Huge Oil Bill for Iran Oil".
We learned that Shell is struggling to pay off $1,000,000,000 that it owes the National Iranian Oil Company, the equivalent of about 8 million barrels of oil. Apparently Shell has become Iran's second biggest oil buyer, having been outdistanced only by France's Total, who however has ceased its Iranian oil purchases at the end of last year.
But it seems Shell toils on, now having to navigate through the labyrinth of financial sanctions in order to placate their Iranian pushers. And as the CNBC report would have it, "Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC."
All of which of course raises the question, given Shell's willingness to help sustain the murderous Iranian regime, should we as consumers exercise our individual initiative in solidarity with the oppressed people of Iran (one needs remember the deeply poignant death of Nedā Āghā-Soltān on the streets of Teheran on June 20, 2009)? In our daily lives perhaps it is now necessary to decide where and from whom we buy our gasoline!
Oh yes, by the way, another point of focus. Should we be comfortable with the imminent ruling our government agencies, especially the U.S. Department of the Interior, are about to make permitting Royal Dutch Shell to drill off Alaska's Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas? Vesting that responsibility with a corporation of such vacuous concern?