Boycott Middle Eastern oil-Truth! & Fiction!

Boycott The Oil Companies Buying Middle Eastern Oil and We’ll Stop Funding Terrorism and Keep the Gas Prices down-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

This message lists several oil companies and how much Middle Eastern oil they buy. 
It encourages us to stop buying from the companies that buy from the Middle East because that will reduce the support of terrorism. 
 
It also suggests that in May of 2001, there was a successful grass-roots effort to drive down gas prices by boycotting certain companies.

The Truth:


There are several issues in this eRumor.

First, does the purchase of Middle Eastern oil help terrorism. 
There are varying voices on that. 
Some say that since Osama Bin Laden’s family made its money mostly from construction and that Bin Laden has been estranged from the family for quite a while, there isn’t any direct link. 
Others say that oil purchased from countries like Iraq goes directly toward support of terrorism and that profits for other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, indirectly aid terrorism because of wealthy Saudis who are said to help finance people like Osama Bin Laden.

Second, what oil companies buy Middle Eastern oil?

We were able to secure the statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy for various oil companies for calendar Year 2000:

Shell purchased 3,611,000 barrels from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
BP purchased none from the Middle East.
Chevron purchased 14,724,000 from the Middle East.
Citgo-None from the Middle East.
Amoco purchased 3,611,000 barrels from the Middle East.
Exxon-Mobil combined purchased 13,273,000 barrels from the Middle East.
Marathon purchased 10,710,000 in Middle Eastern oil.
Sunoco purchased none from the Middle East.
Conoco purchased 523,000 from the Middle East.
Sinclair-We didn’t find any figures.
Phillips-We didn’t find any Middle Eastern purchases.

Third, was there a successful boycott in 2001? 
Not really. 
There have been several emails circulated from time to time that encourage a day or a week of avoiding buying gas, but there’s never been any evidence that we’re aware of that they had had any impact on gas prices.

There is one version of this eRumor that adopts some information from another popular eRumor and claims that gas is projected to rise to $3 per gallon by the summer of 2002.  The Energy Department forecast, however, is for a high of $1.60 per gallon.  We have not found any forecasts for $3 per gallon.

Last updated 3/23/03