Oiling up the Sahel
Hugo Chávez woke up feeling generous today, and has offered to build an oil refinery in Mauritania, no strings attached:
CARACAS – Venezuela plans to build a refinery in Mauritania to supply fuel to countries on the west coast of Africa, President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday.
Mauritania “produces 18,000 barrels per day of crude,” but “a transnational (oil company) takes it and it has to import gasoline,” Chavez said in a statement released by the Information Ministry.
How charitable! How selfless! And how coincidentally beneficial for the Venezuelan oil industry’s plans to expand into Africa:
“We have made a proposal to the Government of Mauritania … to build a refinery” in that country “to process not 18,000 barrels, but 30 or 40,000, to refine everything they produce, and if they cannot find more oil over there, to ship petroleum from Venezuela,” Chavez said.
Venezuela’s goal is to refine as much crude as possible in Mauritania and “distribute petroleum derivatives throughout the axis that passes through Mali, Niger and Gambia, all those countries, some of them allies of Venezuela,” the president said.
It’s just like in that song: first we take Nouakchott, then we take Niamey.