A tale of intrigue and corruption in the international oil business, told in artistically interwoven episodes. The story begins in an oil-producing country where the nations reformist heir to the throne, Prince Nasir, is keen to dissolve the countrys business links to America. For this reason, the Prince promises China the natural gas drilling rights previously owned by US energy giant Connex. At the same time, Texan Jimmy Pope manages to secure for his small company, Killen, drilling rights for Kazakhstans much sought-after oil fields. The move awakens Connex interest in Killen. Prior to the merger between these two companies, Washington-based legal firm Sloan Whiting a company renowned for its rigorous rejection of hostile takeovers is assigned to scrutinize the contract. Meanwhile, CIA veteran Bob Barnes is in deep trouble. In the wake of his last assignment to rub out two arms dealers in Teheran a Stinger missile was inadvertently left in the hands of a mysterious Egyptian. On his return to Washington, Bob is promised a promotion should he decide to accept one last job to take out Prince Nasir. The assassination attempt fails and Bob is made scapegoat. Bob is pilloried by his superiors until he comes to the realisation that he has been lied to and pushed around, like a pawn in a game of chess. For years he has blindly followed orders, without ever knowing the real motives for his actions. Ambitious attorney Bennett Holiday and energy analyst Bryan Woodman are in the throes of asserting the interests of their respective clients Connex-Killen and the Prince; meanwhile, behind the scenes, Sloan Whitings chief Dean Whiting, is busy pursuing quite different aims his goal being to scupper the agreement between the heir to the throne and the Chinese.
by Stephen Gaghan
with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper