The prize

Across America, today’s headlines will blare who got to take home an Oscar – that little gold guy who brings fame and fortune to those who win. But for decades longer than Hollywood has existed, another kind of prize – black gold, otherwise known as oil – has been enriching those whose search for it ends with hitting paydirt.

Most of the time, Americans fill up their tanks, flick on their light switches and crank up their thermostats without giving much thought to energy. But a war in Iraq and the near doubling of gasoline prices in recent years has finally put oil on America’s collective radar screen.

Take the Academy Awards. George Clooney snagged top honors last night for his critically acclaimed performance as a used and abused CIA operative in Syriana, an interlocking tale of oil and intrigue that sprawls from Texas to the Middle East.

Love it or hate it, the movie asks some big questions that are more timely now cheap NFL jerseys than ever. Namely, what is the true cost of oil beyond the dollars it takes Nuevos to punch holes in cheap jerseys the ground to find it?
A considerable number of Americans saw Syriana. I wonder how many oil ministers from Middle Eastern producing countries watched it.

I missed last night’s Oscar broadcast because I was winging my way from Houston to Vienna where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting. OPEC’s City 11 member nations, which include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Nigeria and Venezuela, meet several times a year to decide how much oil to produce to give the world’s economies what they need while maintaining the wholesale jerseys crude oil price range that the cartel wants.

Truth be told, there’s a Hollywood-like aura about the proceedings. The oil ministers are rich. They are powerful. They show up in Vienna with their entourages and personal security details to hammer avea out deals and forge alliances on Monday and Tuesday before OPEC’s official Wednesday meeting.

There are no press conferences so photographers mob them as they come and go between appointments and hordes of reporters ???? literally Lenovo chase cheap NFL jerseys these men through posh hotel lobbies hoping for an interview – or at least a quote or two.

More often than not, they don’t say much. But sometimes – just sometimes – they do, offering a glimpse into what those who control the bulk of the world’s oil are thinking. Like Hollywood’s big night at the Oscars, when 1 OPEC descends on Vienna it’s quite the scene.

Note: This post and many other early NewsWatch: Energy posts were authored by Lynn Cook