The USA Versus OPEC
by Jo Abbess
22nd May 2008
This is 2008, International Polar Year.
But if you thought all those scientific trips to the Arctic were purely about the Environment, think again.
According to the American publication Foreign Affairs, the melting ice on the Arctic Ocean is noted with glee by Big Energy, who view the seabed Up North as prime prospecting territory.
The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming
Scott G. Borgerson
The Arctic Ocean is melting, and it is melting fast. This past summer, the area covered by sea ice shrank by more than one million square miles, reducing the Arctic icecap to only half the size it was 50 years ago. For the first time, the Northwest Passage – a fabled sea route to Asia that European explorers sought in vain for centuries – opened for shipping.
Even if the international community manages to slow the pace of climate change immediately and dramatically, a certain amount of warming is irreversible. It is no longer a matter of if, but when, the Arctic Ocean will open to regular marine transportation and exploration of its lucrative natural-resource deposits…
Ironically, the great melt is likely to yield more of the very commodities that precipitated it: fossil fuels. As oil prices exceed $100 a barrel, geologists are scrambling to determine exactly how much oil and gas lies beneath the melting icecap.
More is known about the surface of Mars than about the Arctic Ocean’s deep, but early returns indicate that the Arctic could hold the last remaining undiscovered hydrocarbon resources on earth. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Norwegian company StatoilHydro estimate that the Arctic holds as much as one-quarter of the world’s remaining undiscovered oil and gas deposits.
News from the United States of America in the last two weeks regarding fuel supplies has been interesting, to say the least.
George W. Bush has signed into law a halt to topping up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The aim : to allow more oil into the domestic market, to cool the price.
At around the same time, it was found that the stockpiles were surprisingly lower than expected.
Plus, OPEC says it will not (or cannot) increase petroleum supplies.
The result : general market panic.
The American administration blame it all on OPEC, and Gordon Brown in the United Kingdom has reflected that position, to his shame, in my opinion.
Could it be that, despite several years of testing in the Arctic, no huge lakes of oil under the seabed have been sounded out ?
It’s funny. I’ve compared notes with people who were at Primary School as the same time as I was. We learned in Geography lessons that the main petroleum deposits are to be found near the Equator.
Oh yes, there’s tar sands and oil shales further North and South, and coal practically everywhere. But even though there’s been quite a lot of Tectonic Plate movement of the continents between various oil-producing periods in Earth history, the main high-energy liquid hydrocarbons that are readily accessible are close to 0 degrees latitude.
Could it be that the idea of finding oil in the formerly frozen North was used as a gambit to keep the oil industry running ? And that now we see clearly that there’s no significant oil at the Poles, we are starting to run wild with what we do have ?
There is now clear evidence that all of the major oil-producing regions of the world have experienced a plateau in production. This is known as Peak Oil.
The Saudis cannot make it flow out of the ground as fast as it did before. They cannot be blamed. But that does not stop the United States from doing so.
I’m afraid to say it, but this could be part of the next assault on the Middle East. Not just Iran, but the whole region. The same sort of game about national oil reserves was played out just prior to the Incursion on Iraq.
The fact that American Strategic Petroleum Reserve has dropped its reported stocks is possibly because they have already been diverted to the War on Terror Effort.
For American tank machinery, the next stop could be Tehran, or Riyadh, or both at the same time. You have been warned. From now on, do not believe the hype about OPEC.
Drop your own Energy and Fuel consumption to halt the War for Oil.