Libya Oil

On Monday, Glenn Sutherland called home to say that the oil rig he works on in Libya was under attack and that he was going to head out into the Sahara Desert on foot. The situation in Libya has gotten a lot worse since then. And it's not exactly clear where Glenn Sutherland is now. We hear from his family.


Libya Oil - Gary & Iris Sutherland

On Monday, Gary Sutherland got a phone call from his son Glenn. Glenn works with Suncor and he lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his wife and children. He was nearing the end of a five-week rotation on an oil rig in Libya, working as a health-safety adviser.

The phone call lasted about two minutes. Glenn said that he and about 30 of his colleagues were heading into the Sahara Desert on foot because their rig was under attack by armed rebels trying to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. That was two days ago. Since then, Libya has descended further into chaos. Glenn's parents, Gary and Iris Sutherland joined us from Coldbrook, Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Government announced yesterday that it is working to evacuate all Canadians from Libya.

Libya Oil - Jeff Rubin

Libya isn't a huge player in the global oil trade. It produces about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day -- about 2 per cent of the world's supply. But the unrest there has been enough to produce a spike in the price of oil and fears of another round of oil shocks.

International crises have produced oil shocks in the past. The 1973 energy crisis caused by the OPEC oil embargo. The 1979 energy crisis in response to the Iranian revolution. Then there was the Iran/Iraq War. The First Gulf War. The U.S. invasion of Iraq ... and yesterday, corresponding with the unrest in Libya, the price of oil hit a two-year high.

According to Jeff Rubin, it could go a lot higher. Jeff Rubin is the former Chief Economist with CIBC World Markets. He's also the author of Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. He was in Toronto.

Libya Oil - Philip Auerswald

But Philip Auerswald says we're too quick to blame our economic troubles on the price of oil and that there are a lot of people who benefit from stoking our fears of an oil shock.

Philip Auerswald is a professor at George Mason University's School of Public Policy. He was in Washington.

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Last Word - E-mail from Lavalin Employee

Earlier in the program, we heard about Glenn Sutherland. He's a Canadian who was working for Suncor on an oil rig in Libya. When the rig came under attack, Glenn and other headed off into the desert.

SNC-Lavalin is a Montreal based engineering company which also has workers trapped in Libya. Last night, we received an e-mail from a Lavalin employee. He has been working on the expansion of the Benina Airport in the city of Benghazi. Trapped, without a phone for days now, he has managed to get an internet connection through Tunisia.

We aired what he wrote to The Current as recorded by The Current's Dick Miller.

Other segments from today's show:

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