The plot strands are interlinked and fit into a coherent story of the greed for oil and the struggle for money and power. This influenced by numerous corruption will inevitably conflict on all sides its victims.
The CIA Agent Bob Barnes (George Clooney) loses during an operation in Iran, a Stinger missile, in the hands of terrorists drops. Elements of the rocket will be used to build a bomb, a suicide attack on a tanker of Connex-Killen group carried out.
The Texas-based oil Connex is one of the largest energy companies in the world. After the company oil fields in an unnamed Arab country has lost, it tries to other oil fields in Kazakhstan. To this end, it merged with another company, Killen, which is vested in Kazakhstan. With the completion of the merger, the law firm of Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer).
The energy expert Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) learns the Emir a private unnamed state, and is familiar with the adviser to the Emir's son, Prince Nasir. This plant, democratizing reforms in his country, but his father, the Emir ill, hands over power to his unscrupulous brother, the backing of the United States. Nasir wants the influence of the United States to quit his country and organizing a coup. Because the interests of the United States to the oil deposits in this state are threatened, Nasir by the CIA classified as a terrorist. The agent Bob Barnes contradicts this assessment, and tries to murder his own fist by an armed drone to prevent it. He does too late, and died, along with Nasir, the impact of the rocket.
Another action strand tells how two young Pakistani poor as cheap Ölarbeitskräfte in rich Saudi Arabia and partially unemployed and humiliated by the amenities of a Koranic school days, ever deeper into extremist circles can be drawn. Finally, you lead with the help of a fishing boat, the suicide attack on the tanker.