Total Exxon Mobil EMI Gazprom Shell BP Libya
There was an interesting discussion on NPR yesterday about how Norway managed to deal with a major oil discovery without destroying the country, hurting the residents, and making the country impoverished, polluted, and unlivable. Oil discoveries are usually a big curse, most profits go to off-shore oil companies and a few well-connected people, and governments are often changed from relatively benign democracies to corrupt dictatorships. (Check Liberia, Iran, Gaddafi’s Libya and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.) Let’s hope that Libya reflects on Norway’s ideas — go slow, don’t give away the farm, put the money in an untouchable trust fund and only use the interest, and above all resist pressure from oil companies and right-wing politicians to drill it and sell it as fast as you can.