Conspiracy theories about oil price collapse

By Michael Lashley

Conspiracy theorists are quite a talented lot. Their theories are so versatile that they can be fact, fiction or entertainment. Who knows? Sometimes they may even succeed in being a combination of all three. Please bear with me as I begin my journey of speculation.

I choose to start that journey with a conspiracy theory that may have been invented for entertainment purposes only. Are the recent enthronement of a new Conservative premier in Alberta and the defection of the Wildrose Party leader and most of her caucus to the Conservative provincial government part of a conspiracy to ensure the Conservatives dominate Alberta’s politics for all eternity?

But what if the plot backfires, Albertans lose confidence in the political integrity of those two leaders and their respective factions, the price of oil hits $20 per barrel and the Conservatives lose most of the seats in Alberta in this year’s federal election? Is that worth a good laugh?

Or is that worthless fiction? Is there anything but fiction behind the conspiracy theory that the sharp and prolonged drop in the price of oil is the result of a conspiracy on the part of the U.S. president, the CIA and the UN Security Council, seeking to deprive Canada of a large portion of its revenue, destabilize our economy, and torpedo the economic and political plans of the current federal Conservative government, thus pushing them to lose this year’s election and putting the Liberals and their young leader in the saddle? Can that ever be true?

Now let us try to find some conspiracy theories that, according to some analysts, may be grounded in fact.

It is undeniable that the over-supply of oil coupled with the coming on stream of large amounts of natural gas from American shale deposits has significantly contributed to the drop in energy prices worldwide. But is the continued flooding of the world market with oil when prices are fast approaching rock-bottom an easy strategy for the member countries of OPEC to decrease the market share of non-OPEC energy producers and to corner the market for themselves? That would be too easy and many OPEC members might also suffer crippling losses.

If that is not the explanation, then what is the bigger conspiracy theory? Can you ever believe that the Americans and the West Europeans have conspired with the Saudis to drop some heavy body-blows on three oil-producing countries deemed to be enemies of “The West”, namely Russia, Iran and Venezuela?

That would be a masterstroke! Three major victories in one not-so-fell swoop! Though some analysts would find it hard to believe that the Saudis could ever conspire against their Venezuelan friends, the possibility of manhandling the Shiite powerhouse that is Iran is a mango that may be too rosy and juicy for the staunchly Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to resist.

On the other hand, I am personally incapable of producing any evidence whatsoever to back up the conspiracy theories that appear in this commentary. It is all pure speculation on the part of anonymous commentators.

It is political kankata with a pungent international flavor.

Michael Lashley
Michael Lashley