Protests in Oil Rich Kuwait today, trying to get rid of 250 year ruling family
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Update On Kuwait Situation (USO, USL, XOM, COP, CVX)
Benzinga Staff Writer
March 08, 2011 9:17 AM
There is set to be protests in Kuwait today as the youth of the country call for the resignation of the country's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
According to the EIA, Kuwait holds around 104 billion barrels of crude oil reserves. The country produced around 2.5 million barrels per day, which puts it as the fourth largest producer of oil in the world.
These are the same types of protests we've seen in other nations such as Tunisia and Egypt, which ultimately led to the demise of the leaders of those countries. Libya so far, has been a much more violent revolution, and may ultimately lead to a civil war.
The protesters want someone from outside the al-Sabah family, which has ruled Kuwait for some 250 years.
"We will also distribute watermelons to lawmakers as they enter the parliament on Tuesday, as a symbol of chaos and discontent with their performance," Mubarak Alhaza, a member of the Kafi (Enough) youth movement, told Reuters.
The country does not allow political parties, but instead its parliament is made up of individuals who form loose blocs.
Shafiq Ghabra, a political science professor at Kuwait University, said he expected the protests on Tuesday to be calmer than we've seen before. "We're talking about reforms in political rights, governance, cabinet, education. In each country, every movement has a different nature. In Kuwait the movement is not to end the regime, but to reform the politics," Ghabra said.
"We think it's about time for this change, which will allow for a correction in decision-making policies," said Abdullah al-Neibari of the liberal Democratic Forum bloc.
"On Tuesday we will discuss a draft law in parliament, that calls for issuing them civil identification cards, which would allow them to issue birth certificates and other necessary documents," said Hassan Johar, the head of the parliament committee.
If the Kuwaiti protests escalate, we could see oil prices skyrocket easily to $120 per barrel, which would drive the price of oil related equities and ETFs like United States Oil Fund LP ETF (NYSE: USO) sharply higher. Other ways to play higher oil prices are names like Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), United States 12 Month Oil Fund, LP (NYSE: USL), Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Conoco Phillips (NYSE: COP).