“Strategic planning” in defining targets of opportunity seems to be the battle strategy of this elusive yet determined enemy called ISIS, as thick black smoke rising high into the sky on the horizon from the Baiji Oil Refinery that was set ablaze by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) just over 100 miles north of the capital last week.

The decision to torch the enormous processing plant and refinery, which once produced around a third of Iraq’s domestic fuel supplies, was made as the insurgents prepared to pull out of Baiji, which they captured last June in a victory that sent shock waves across world oil markets.

Many of the oil rich counties within the region had dismissed the growing threat of ISIS in Syria and had initially dismissed any threat to its oil refineries as unthinkable will now gather at the end of this week in Vienna for the meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which together account for two-thirds of the cartel’s production, and which now appear powerless to prevent ISIS from expanding it’s brutal Jihad across the entire region.

Oil ministers gathering to decide on production levels at Opec’s secretariat building in Vienna will normally stay clear of wider geopolitical issues during their deliberations in the Austrian capital. However, the threat posed by ISIL and its brutal brand of Islamist extremism is likely to force politics onto the agenda. It certainly can no longer be ignored

However one thing is clear in that whatever happens within these meetings or in the Middle East, in terms of oil production will have a direct impact to our own economy, which begs the question…why?

America is an oil and natural gas rich country that has the ability to be self-reliant, and free of the sectarian chaos within the Middle East. If anything the Oil Embargo of 1973 should have thought us a valuable lesson, then as now the Middle East was as usual in chaos and members of OPAC imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations.


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