While Americans are robbed at the gas pump, Exxon Mobil will this week report a 60% increase in its quarterly net profits to a cool $10 billion. Royal Dutch/Shell will report a 30% increase.
In 1975 British writer Anthony Sampson penned The Seven Sisters, bestowing a collective name on a shadowy oil cartel, which throughout its history has sought to eliminate competitors and control the world’s oil resource. Sampson’s “Seven Sisters” name came from independent Italian oil man Enrico Mattei.
In the 1960’s Mattei began negotiating with Algeria, Libya and other nationalistic OPEC states who wanted to sell their oil internationally without having to deal with the Seven Sisters. Algeria had a long history of defying Big Oil and was once ruled by President Houari Boumedienne, one of the great Arab socialist leaders of all time, who initiated the original ideas for a more just “New International Economic Order” in fiery speeches at the UN, where he encouraged producer cartels modeled on OPEC as a means to Third World emancipation.
In 1962 Mattei died in a mysterious plane crash. Former French intelligence agent Thyraud de Vosjoli says French intelligence was involved. William McHale of Time magazine, who covered Mattei’s attempt to break the Big Oil cartel, also died under strange circumstances.
A tidal wave of mergers at the turn of the millennium transformed Sampson’s Seven Sisters – Royal Dutch/Shell, British Petroleum, Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Texaco and Gulf – into a more tightly controlled cartel which, in my book Big Oil & Their Bankers…, I term the Four Horsemen: Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, BP Amoco and Royal Dutch/Shell…..