The Arab League is desperate for any solution and was even considering a peace proposal from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As reported by Reuters and the Al-arabiya News Channel, "Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has called for an international mediation effort to seek a peaceful solution to the uprising against Libyan leader Gaddafi. Chavez spoke to Gaddafi on Tuesday and laid out his proposal to seek a negotiated solution to the violence in Libya. According to Chavez, discussions were underway with left-wing Latin American nations and countries in Europe and South America with hopes that a commission could be established to go to Libya for talks with the Libyan government and the leaders of the opposition. Sources revealed the Libyan leader and the president of the Arab League Amr Mousa agreed to a peace plan. The Venezuelan President added it was better to seek a political solution rather than send marines to Libya, and better to send a goodwill mission than for the killing to continue."
The Reuters report went on to say that Chavez, "criticized the US which has said it is ready to enter Libya accusing it of wanting Libya's oil similar to the period where they were after Iraqi oil. Nicaragua and Cuba agreed with the thesis. Chavez highlighted that the door is open to all the 'friendly' nations. Chavez is a very close friend of the Libyan leader and praises him as a fellow revolutionary. He has made six visits to Libya since he became Venezuela President in 1998 and he believed it would be hypocritical of him to join international condemnation of Gaddafi now. Chavez accuse the US and some countries of double standards wondering why no one criticized attacks and massacres in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Fallujah."
This comes at a time when the US should be trumpeting another homegrown breakthrough in technology that led to a significant mile stone. The Financial Times reports today that US oil output hit the highest level since 2002 because of an increase in the use of "unconventional" extraction techniques. The FT says that, "According to the US government's Energy Information Administration, domestic production of crude oil and related liquids rose 3 per cent last year to an average of 7.51m barrels a day — its highest level since 2002. The rise enabled a 2 per cent drop in US oil imports to 9.45m b/d, in spite of rising demand as the economy recovered. US oil imports have fallen steadily since 2006. The revival of US production has been made possible by a rush of small and mid-sized companies into onshore regions such as the Bakken shale in North Dakota, the Permian Basin in west Texas and the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas. North Dakota's production has doubled since 2008, reaching 355,000 b/d in November. Extraction of oil reserves in these regions was thought to be uneconomic, but has been made commercially viable by the transfer of techniques successfully used to extract shale gas; in particular, long horizontal wells and fracking, pumping water under high pressure to crack the rock and enable the oil to flow."
A must read in the FT! It is amazing that it did not take one dime of taxpayer's money to come up with this revolutionary idea to produce more oil. Imagine that!