| Conrad Gerber|
(businessman, deep state actor)
|Died||2009 (Age 68)|
|Member of||Le Cercle|
The son of a cattle rancher, Conrad Gerber was raised in Africa. He studied economics, law and diplomacy at the University of Cape Town and at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva.
In the 1970s Gerber worked as an economist in Ian Smith's white minority government of Rhodesia and admits that he first learned about the oil business while helping to circumvent international sanctions against Rhodesia and to procure illegal oil for his country.
In 1980, shortly after the United Nations lifted sanctions against the Rhodesia, Gerber started Petro-Logistics, making himself Chairman and CEO. The firm collects and analyses data on the world's supplies of oil, uses spook techniques to pierce the curtain of secrecy raised by oil-producing countries, especially the members of OPEC in the Persian Gulf. He tracks tanker loadings at major oil ports, relying on a network of about two dozen closely guarded sources. The tanker data is combined with tips from oil executives and synthesized into regular reports for his clients. Gerber's ability to move markets is well known. "Petro-Logistics estimates have a significant market impact, as they are widely recognized as an important source on OPEC supply," said Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the International Energy Agency (IEA), an organization based in Paris that is one of Mr Gerber's clients. Petro-Logistics, meanwhile, "is very well connected in the gulf and the Black Sea," said David Knapp, the senior editor for global markets at the Energy Intelligence Group, a publishing and information services company. Mr Knapp used to work at the International Energy Agency, where he said he relied on Mr Gerber's reports. Petro-Logistics is not the only group to rely on tanker tracking for supply data. Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit, part of the Informa Group, uses a network of 900 agents at 2,000 ports and cities, said Andrew Lorimer, manager of oil trade analysis for the unit, which is based in London. Lloyd's also publishes an estimate for sea borne oil on a regular basis.
Deep political connections
Gerber attended Le Cercle and was a close friend of Ted Shackley, who engaged in some oil trading after retiring from the CIA in 1979. It is unknown to what extent this business was supported by Cerle members. Mr Gerber said he was at Mr Shackley's bedside just before he died. Gerber is a Fellow of the London Energy Institute, a member of the Club de Nice (for Energie et Géopolitique) and President of Centre de Recherches Entreprises et Sociétés (CRES), a consulting firm based in Geneva.
- September 3, 2003, Energy Bulletin