Thursday, August 20, 2009


---Ellen Sauerbrey

What on earth is going on here? Is the Obama administration now going into the oil drilling business? Why is the Obama administration lending up to ten billion dollars from the deficit ridden U.S. economy to Petrobras, an oil company owned by the government of Brazil, to drill for offshore oil. Are we now branching out from ownership interests in distressed banks and auto manufacturers into the energy field? And why would an administration that does not support drilling for American resources chose instead to invest in Brazil?

Bloomberg reported on August 15th, that one of Obama’s biggest benefactors, billionaire investor George Soros bought an $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro SA in the second quarter, making the Brazilian state-controlled oil company his investment fund's largest holding. As of June 30, Petrobras, made up 22 percent of the $3.68 billion of stocks and American depositary receipts held by Soros Fund Management LLC, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Is there any connection there??

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the exploration field is believed to contain between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil. “But Brazil has been forced to seek external financing because the fields pose an enormous technical and financial challenge due to the depth and thickness of the salt and the drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface… Acknowledging that Petrobras alone is not capable of developing the massive pre-salt reserves, Brazil announced in May that it will invite international oil companies to bid for concessions in that region beginning next year”, the Tribune reported.

Meanwhile 10 billion barrels of domestic oil located in ANWR, that private industry would like to retrieve, in an area with a proven track record for environmentally responsible drilling, remains off limits.

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Meeting with Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer

Visiting Iraqi refugees at Jordanian girls' school.