Marin Katusa: Mysterious Death Of A Top Oil Executive In Moscow Raises QuestionsPosted: October 25, 2014
Patrick de la Chevardière, CFO of Total SA (which is France’s largest energy company), has publicly announced that Total is looking to finance its share in the $27-billion Yamal LNG project using euros, yuan, Russian rubles, and any other currency but US dollars.
The effect of US sanctions was that Yamal LNG [in Russia’s far North] will be prevented from raising any dollar financings,” Patrick de la Chevardière stated in London at a news briefing.
Patrick de la Chevardière’s boss — the CEO of Total SA and presumably the man who made that decision — was Christophe de Margerie. De Margerie is now dead, along with three crew members aboard his private jet when it collided with a snowplow just after midnight at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. The plow’s driver was drunk, according to Russian investigators, and was seemingly unhurt.
[Check out Marin Katusa’s book “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp” at Amazon]
You have more of a chance of being struck by lightning than hitting a plow or any other ground support vehicle.
So… is it a coincidence that the one CEO who prominently broke with the petrodollar is now dead?
In my new book The Colder War, there is a whole section on “suspicious deaths” that have occurred during the current conflict between Vladimir Putin and the West. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this political stare down, and it doesn’t much matter whether you’re against Putin or against the West. Many have fallen on both sides.
De Margerie could now be one of them. We may never know for sure.
What we are sure of is that he was outspoken in his support for Putin’s agenda, and believed Russia was a good partner for Europe. He wasn’t afraid to take on the U.S. and its primary support mechanism, the petrodollar.
Yet Total never completed the financing… which is likely to mean that higher powers stepped in to prevent an attack on the petrodollar.
Was de Margerie, who is a close friend of France’s president, forced to tell Putin that he couldn’t deliver what he promised: that $28 Billion for the Yamal LNG plant? Did his company come under pressure from the French government, the EU28, and the U.S. — or all of the above? Did that lead to a fatal falling out with Putin?
We only know how the story ended on a snowy runway on a cold Moscow night.
A fortuitous accident, or something more sinister? Either way, de Margerie was the latest victim of the Colder War. Just another obstacle for one side or the other, now removed.
Marin Katusa is energy chief at Casey Research and author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp”.
- Lada Ray: Who Benefits from the Death of the French Oil Giant Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie? October 21, 2014 (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Questions over oil cooperation after Total CEO dies in Moscow plane crash (rbth.co.uk)
- Total CEO de Margerie Killed in Moscow as Jet Hits Snow Plough (newsweek.com)
- Blood and Oil on the Tarmac (randompottins.blogspot.com)
- Total CEO de Margerie killed by a drunk driver of a snowplow in Moscow (bnn.ca)
- Russia Classifies CIA Assassination Of Top French Oil CEO (eutimes.net)