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The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

Syria Blames Oil Pipeline Explosion on Sabotage December 8, 2011

There has been a major explosion in a Syrian pipeline carrying oil to a refinery near the restive city of Homs. This, as violence from the country’s nine-month uprising escalates.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the report, but gave no cause for the blast. The state-run SANA news agency blamed “an armed terrorist group” for the attack, calling it an act of sabotage.

A video on the Internet from opposition activists, and obtained by Reuters, shows massive flames and an enormous cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky outside Homs. Two similar explosions on Syrian oil pipelines occurred in July.

The observatory also said at least seven people were killed by sniper fire and “arbitrary” shooting on Thursday in Homs. A series of kidnappings, random shootings and revenge killings plagued the city earlier this week, as authorities continued their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied that he ordered the killing of thousands of anti-government protesters.  He spoke in an interview with a U.S. journalist aired on Wednesday.

Assad told ABC News he does not control the forces implementing his country’s brutal crackdown. The Syrian leader said there is “a big difference” between having “a policy to crack down and having mistakes committed by some officials.”

The United Nations reports that at least 4,000 people have been killed since the unrest erupted in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Oil majors profit from high price October 27, 2011

Shell has benefited from higher gas and oil prices, as have its rivals

Higher gas and oil prices have pushed up profits at ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell during the three months to the end of September.

Current cost of supply net income at Shell doubled to $7.2bn (£4.5bn), compared with $3.5bn during the same period a year ago.

At Exxon, meanwhile, profits increased by 41% to $10.3bn.

The cost of Brent crude was 48% higher in the quarter compared with the same period last year.

Higher oil prices also increased the price of gas in Europe and Asia. Shell produces almost as much gas as oil.

“Our profits pay for Shell’s substantial investments in new energy projects, to ensure low-cost, reliable energy supplies for our customers and to create value for our shareholders,” said Shell chief executive Peter Voser.

“Our third quarter results were higher than year-ago levels, driven by higher oil prices and Shell’s performance,” he added.

In the UK, the company recently announced it was investing in the deep-water Clair oil field west of the Shetland Islands, in a scheme operated by rival BP.

The company also completed the sale of the Stanlow refinery for a total of $1.2bn.

Exxon boost

Exxon said that capital and exploration expenditures reached a record $26.7bn for the first nine months of the year.

“We continue pursuing new opportunities to meet growing energy demand while supporting economic growth, including job creation,” chairman Rex Tillerson said.

Production decreased 4% compared with the third quarter of 2010.

Shell said it had had a series of recent accidents.

In August, the company suffered a leak at its Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea of around 1,300 barrels.

In October, Shell declared a force majeure on some of its customers after a fire shut down its refinery in Singapore.

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