The Geopolitics of Petroleum

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on October 12, 2018

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This was a presentation to the members of ReNew/ATA (renewable energy advocates) at the Peace Centre in Brisbane in late September. Even though it is almost 90 minutes long, it is just a basic introduction. It is a much abridged version of topics already covered in articles previously written (see weblinks in text description beneath video)

Link to full talk:

https://youtu.be/K9wCbNHlMsU

 

 

 

One Response to The Geopolitics of Petroleum

  • Anti Troll says:

    Although the talk was just an introduction to petropolitics for newbies, the last part does include interesting ideas for veteran peak oilists. In particular the statement that “estimated recoverable oil reserves” are a messed up dog’s breakfast, not to be believed by anyone except dumbasses. Best to use the projected area under the Hubbert curve (past Peak) which gives a much more realistic idea. Also the brief comments about an open system and GROSS oil production (ie. an individual country which peaked well before the rest of the world peaked eg USA, and could harness imported energy to extract remaining domestic low EROI post peak oil) versus a closed system and overall NET oil production (the world as a whole) were worth exploring in more detail.
    Upshot: if Russia and Saudi Arabia have had similar production curves up to and just after their peaks, we can be quite certain that the Saudi claims that they have 5 times more reserves than Russia are total bullshit. Their reserves must be similar. Also, if Russia (population around 144 million and falling) has recently been exporting more crude than Saudi Arabia (population around 32 million and rising due to a rabbit-reproducing demographic), then the export land model predicts Saudi exports will drop drastically vs Russia in the near future unless the Saudi profligate domestic consumption can be dramatically reduced. The latter is unlikely to occur without causing huge social instability, the pampered populace having been pacified (till now) by easy money from plentiful oil. The Wahabis, Salafists, Al Quida and ISIL are eagerly waiting in the wings, ready to take over. What can the Fascist States of America do to prevent such a revolution? Sweet FA.
    Facts: Apart from Saudi and the UAE which are politically poised for collapse, the last remaining conventional giant fields are mainly in Iraq (which after democratic elections now has a Shiite leadership, thus is becoming aligned more with Iran, and a population which hate the FSA invaders), Iran, Russia and the Caspian area (Kazakhstan etc). Claims that Venezuela have the largest crude reserves are bullshit, they have lots of low EROI heavy oil in the Orinoco basin which is not economic.
    The US are now desperately trying to cause regime change in Russia (to install a Yeltsin-like puppet who will sell oil under the petrodollar) and to cause regime change in Iran (to install a Shah-like puppet who will sell oil under the petrodollar) and to install a pipeline through Afganistan to the sea coast, so crude from the last remaining giant fields around the Caspian sea can be exported internationally, to be sold under the petrodollar.
    Failing all of the above, we must ask this: which rising power, which can actually pay for their oil in real gold or in real manufactured products (not just fiat currency), has the best geographic and economic access to the last remaining crude from Russia, Iran and the Caspian area (which does not depend on sea routes)?
    The FSA simply cannot imagine themselves being eclipsed and sour grapes demand they start a war. Bomb Iran first using some “Trumped up” (pun intended) fake excuse eg Iran reneging on its nuclear deal (point of fact: it was the US which reneged on its nuclear deal, the JCPOA) which is what the FSA have been threatening for years. Iran will then blockade the straits of Hormuz, blocking oil exports from the Gulf and causing global financial collapse. Also, Iran will be defended by its SCO allies Russia and China and everything will quickly escalate to global nuclear war. Quick suicide may be preferable to slowly burning to death by global warming anyway.
    If however the US implodes into civil war (red vs blue states) first (triggered by stockmarket/banking collapse and severe inequalities in the population), then the rest of the world might just be spared a nuking.
    Just sayin’

    PS: anybody who says unconventional oils will make any difference to the above is a dumbass.

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