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Total War Over The Petrodollar

The conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Total SA’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, started the second the news broke of his death. Under mysterious circumstances in Moscow, his private jet collided with a snowplow just after midnight. De Margerie was the CEO of Total, France’s largest oil company.

He’d just attended a private meeting with Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, at a time when the West’s relationship with Russia is fraught, to say the least.

One has better odds of being struck by lightning at an airport then a snow plow, or any other ground support vehicles hitting a plane and killing all inside the plane, in my opinion. And I say that as someone who’s familiar with airports, having worked at Vancouver International Airport when I was in university; I was the one who would bring the plane into its parking bay.

If it weren’t for those short odds, a snowplow on the runway with an allegedly drunk driver would be the perfect crime. But who would benefit from his death?

De Margerie was one of the few business leaders who spoke out against the isolation of Russia. On this last trip to Moscow, he railed against sanctions and the obstacles to Russian companies obtaining credit.

He was also an outspoken supporter of Russia’s position in natural gas pricing and transportation disputes with Ukraine, telling Reuters in an interview in July that Europe should not cut its dependence on Russian gas but rather focus on making the supplies more secure.

But what could have made de Margerie a total liability is Total’s involvement in plans to build a plant to liquefy natural gas on the Yamal Peninsula of Russia in partnership with Novatek. Its most ambitious project in Russia to date, it would facilitate the shipping of 800 million barrels of oil equivalent of LNG to China via the Arctic.

Compounding this sin, Total had just announced that it’s seeking financing for a gas project in Russia in spite of the current sanctions against Russia. It planned to finance its share in the $27-billion Yamal project using euros, yuan, Russian rubles, and any other currency but US dollars.

Did this direct threat to the petrodollar make this “true friend of Russia”—as Putin called de Margerie—some very powerful and dangerous enemies amongst the power that be, whether in the French government, the EU, or the US?

In my book The Colder War, one chapter deals with “mysterious deaths” and how they are linked to being on the wrong side of the political equation. Whether it’s going against Putin or against the petrodollar, there are many who have fallen on both sides.

If Total doesn’t close the $27 billion financing it needs to move forward with the Yamal LNG project then we’ll know someone stepped in to prevent an attack on the petrodollar.  The CEO of Total, before his death and his CFO were both strong supporters of Total raising the $27 billion in non US dollars and moving the project forward with the Russians.  But, this could all change if the financing does not complete.

How many other Western executives who dare to help Russia bypass sanctions—and turn it into an energy powerhouse—will die under suspicious circumstances?

Marin Katusa, is author of The Colder War, manager of multiple global energy-exploration hedge funds, and co-founder of Copper Mountain Mining Corporation. Click here to get a copy of his must-read new book, The Colder War. Inside, you’ll discover exactly how Putin is taking over the energy sector, how far ahead he is, and how alarming it is that no one in the US or Europe has even entered the race.

Casey Research

11 Comments on "Total War Over The Petrodollar"

  1. Davy on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 7:07 pm 

    Article said – One has better odds of being struck by lightning at an airport then a snow plow, or any other ground support vehicles hitting a plane and killing all inside the plane.

    This guy is full of shit. I fly around in a private jet on occasion. You can hit snow plows in the weee hours of the morning with snow on the ground, tired pilots, poor visibility and in Russia. Russia is notorious for accidents. The pilots of the plane should have been more alert or better trained. Pilots are well trained to lift back off in case of danger. I imagine these were marginal conditions these guys were landing in along with very dark conditions.
    These events do happen and this guy is just stirring the war mongers up. Guys like Mak on this board will eat this stuff up. I am not naïve to say this could not happen but I don’t think this Margerie was much of a threat. Besides if the Russians let this happen then that shows you how competent their spy services are. Bullshit article. Probably some planted Russian propaganda.

  2. Plantagenet on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 7:18 pm 

    Daver is right. Sometimes bad things happen to good people purely by accident. There is no need to promote delusional fantasies about a imaginary secret conspiracy that made it happen.

  3. keith on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 7:54 pm 

    My only question is: What was a snowplow doing on the runway? In all the crash photos I see green grass. There is no snow in Moscow yet.

  4. steve on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 9:31 pm 

    keith has a point there, I remember hearing this story wondering if there was snow in Moscow already….

  5. Makati1 on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 9:37 pm 

    “Accidents” seem to happen all too frequently when the Empire is involved. And the Empire IS involved when it comes to USD and the growing anti-dollar sentiment around the world.

    I suspect that China will be all too happy to provide $27B to fill their shoes. China is spending down their ~$4T in reserves, and getting rid of USD as fast as they can without causing a panic.

    If you really are interested in what Russia is thinking, maybe spend some time and read this:

    If you are not interested, then you are voluntarily blind to the real world outside the MSM Iron Curtain.

  6. GregT on Tue, 28th Oct 2014 10:53 pm 

    Odds of being killed in a plane crash One in 29.4 million

    Odds of being the CEO of Total One in 7.3 billion

    Odds of a snowplow driving across
    the runway when no snow is on the
    ground, and then backing up into the
    path of a departing business jet Priceless

  7. eugene on Wed, 29th Oct 2014 7:54 am 

    I spent yrs flying professionally, Air Force/airlines, and never saw a plow on a runway I was taking off or landing on. And I flew early/late, tired and everything else. Is the US behind this, who knows? Would we do it? As the old saying goes, in a New York minute. My high school illusions about the US disappeared during Vietnam and have only continued to dissolve since.

  8. paulo1 on Wed, 29th Oct 2014 8:22 am 

    One has better odds of being struck by lightning at an airport then a snow plow, or any other ground support vehicles hitting a plane and killing all inside the plane, in my opinion.

    Your opinion is just that… and coming from someone who was a ramp rat it ain’t much.

    Ask those folks on the PW 737 at Cranbrook, BC.

  9. Davy on Wed, 29th Oct 2014 9:01 am 

    Look a snow plow is no different from a fire truck or a flatbed truck. It is a vehicle entering the landing area. Landing are the most dangerous part of flying. When you start landing late at night in adverse conditions shit happens. I have seen no reports yet of the visibility but I can imagine it was marginal. Moscow seems to me to be a cool grey wet type of place in the fall. Perfect for reduced visibility.
    I just get tired of the anything that happens US finger pointing. This happened in the heart of Russia. They are idiots if this was a covert operation. Their spy services are supposed to be among the best there is. If this was a covert operation no wonder the Russians are so quiet they look extremely incompetent.
    The Puttster is too proud to let that incompetence reality out. His economic gamble is already being questioned as incompetent. Too many incompetents and he will start to look like an Obama.
    Paulo, great link to refer to.

  10. Makati1 on Wed, 29th Oct 2014 9:52 pm 

    Davy, you don’t actually believe that the KGB is not active in the USSA? They just don’t do stupid stuff like shooting down airliners and then trying to blame it on the other guy, or over throw a government and then, again, blame that same other guy.

    I would say that Putin has a much better grip on world affairs and happenings in Russia than the Obomber does about the USSA or anything beyond his golf score. In fact, I would be surprised if the golfer knows more than his golf average and maybe what club to use next.

    Face it, the US does NOT elect intelligent, competent leaders. At least since Nixon. It elects the approved candidate that has the best press and the most money to spend. When the president rules by Executive Order and when it costs over $1B to get elected president, it is not a Democracy. It is Fascism.

    Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation, and often race, above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. (Merriam-Webster)

  11. Kenjamkov on Thu, 30th Oct 2014 2:10 am 

    I lived in Cranbrook for 13 years. It has a single runway. I would say it hardly compares to the airport in Moscow. In February, a snowplow would have been mandatory equipment. However, snowplows are often used as dual purpose now a days. This equipment may have had another purpose such as deicing.
    We may never know, but looking suspicious is why there are investigations. Either way, we will never be told if it was an assassination. Putin was in the KGB, he knows the routine.

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