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WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 12:14

Irregardless of what one thinks of that black substance, Oil is important like almost no other Resource. For Nations, it is critical, both economically and militarily. The global economy is largely based on this Resource - and every military on this Earth runs on it. For these and other reasons, it is a Resource of National Security for most lands.

Now, we all know, that the amount of known oil is shrinking. Some sources more than others. One that I would like to mention, is the oil in the North Sea. It is predicted, that it will run out somewhere around 2010~2020. Some here might know, that a lot of European countries include a large percent of North Sea Oil in their National consumption, with Russian and ME oil rounding that out. Germany includes roughly 34% of ME oil in their total consumption of oil, the rest coming from Russia and the North Sea. How does that look, when the North Sea oil runs out?

Alarmingly, it makes Europe even more dependant on ME oil than ever. The US, in contrary, despite being the biggest consumer of oil on the planet, only depends on 24% of their oil to come from the ME, having other Oil areas to draw from.

Now, why am I mentioning this? Quite simply, because some of the most bitterest conflicts on the planet have been because of resources. As oil gets harder and harder to pump to the surface, and present supplies dry up, it will become both costlier, and more precious. Recent events in Saudi Arabia does seem to have Europe currently worried, for good reason - should Al Qaida change its targets, from American to the actual Oil Refineries and Pumps in Saudi Arabia, they could in essence lay that source lame - which is 30% of the ME oil, in total. The consequences for a Europe without North Sea oil is enormous. It would have very serious repercussions, both economically, and militarily.

Could such move Europe (as it is coming together, by then it will be more of a unity, I believe) into a more militant posture, in the ME? How would such effect relations with the US? And what about China and India, two relatively new "giants" of oil consumption?

I believe, that without an alternate energy source, that can replace oil, that there will be coming conflict over this precious resource. I am wondering, whether or not NATO will survive such a conflict - could such a crisis pit the US and Europe against one another? And how will China, who likes to sit in the backseat when it comes to international affairs, react to this? And what about India? Will the shortage of oil prompt one (or both) of these countries to look north, to the oil rich areas of Russia, on their borders?

Here an interesting link Declining Oil Reserves

Note the part on Global Competition. Pretty interesting.

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

(Edited by WebShaman on 06-02-2004 13:07)

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the other side...
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-02-2004 13:33

That is a fair point.

Um...

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 14:38

This is also of interest Oil Reserves and Politics with this

quote:
Since November 2001, the U.S. government has been adding about 160,000 barrels a day to the 651 billion barrels already stockpiled in the SPR. During that time, oil prices rose from less than $20 a barrel to as much as $37. The Energy Department can't resist a bad bargain and plans to buy another 202,000 barrels a day in April. Some 55 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the president earlier this month urging the administration to stop adding to reserves.

Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, also seized this opportunity. "The Bush administration has put [the SPR] program on automatic pilot without regard to the short-term effect on the U.S. market," the Kerry campaign said.

Mr. McClellan responded by telling reporters selling reserves "would have a negligible impact." But that assumes only negligible amounts would be sold.

Leaving the impression it is willing only to add to the petroleum reserve and never to sell, the administration created too easy a bet for oil traders. As a reformed currency speculator, I know the allure of options is the leverage: You can quintuple your money if the price goes up, or lose it all if the price goes down. But that lose-everything downside also makes speculators panic if prices even wiggle in the wrong direction.

Talking to Reuters about the OPEC decision, Gary Ross of PIRA Energy said, "This decision is only going to encourage the speculators to stay long on oil markets." But as President Bush I proved, it isn't hard to make speculators run for the exit.

On Jan. 17, 1991, the elder President Bush publicly announced he had authorized the Energy Department to sell as much as 2.5 million barrels a day from the strategic stockpile. That would be like adding another Iraq overnight.

The Washington Post reported what happened next: "Oil prices tumbled in London today, defying nearly unanimous predictions prices would skyrocket once war broke out in the Persian Gulf. After jumping $7 a barrel to nearly $40 in the first hour of the war, prices on world markets began to tumble. By midday, the price of benchmark North Sea Brent crude had dropped to near $21 a barrel." A follow-up story said, "The dramatic sell-off to $21.44 shocked traders and led several oil companies to announce immediate price cuts."

Cutting oil prices in half was not a negligible effect; nor was it temporary. Oil remained at or below $20 until late 1999. Ironically, the United States did not even have to sell much oil. The announcement alone was enough to shock traders, forcing them to liquidate futures and options for whatever they could get. They never found out if the president was bluffing. But they knew he had a lot more oil than they did.



Interesting.

This is also of interest New study rasies doubts about Saudi oil reserves.

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

(Edited by WebShaman on 06-02-2004 15:01)

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 23:54

Its an interesting idea but I think we have learned our lesson there - what I suspect will happen is that Europe will really start increasing its use of renewable energy resources and with more of a single Europe emerging (and one with a storng infleunce from Green and left wing parties) there will probably be Europe-wide guidelines for decreasing our reliance on ME oil. Also bear in mind that Russia and Turkey will evetually be parts of the EU giving a future potential population of nearly 1 billion people by setting the example now further expansion will be reliant on people adopting the environmental guidelines so any rules put in place now will really reap benefits in the future too.

The UK is aiming to exceed the current European targets as an example (whether that will happen or not is another matter) and those that set the trends here can really reap the benefits further down the line. As I have said before PE cells can be made as cheap as roof tiles at the moment (which even in this country can put more lectricty back into the grid for most of the year) so imagine the advantages of developing and patenting more efficient ones and better wind and wave turbines, etc. (a massive wind farm is being built off shore from me - no link I assume)

There is also a lot of talk about the only way out of our bind being through nuclear power and I'd imagine the French (and pos. the British) will push for this.

So what I hope will happen is that rising oil pirces will force Europe to increase its environmental reforms which can act as an example to other people and help guide countries aiming for closer union to adopt more efficient policies.

___________________
Emps

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Tao
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 06-03-2004 02:08

It is truly a global problem that will require a global holistic solution.
On a tangent; Do you think the countries whose economy is dependent upon selling crude oil, will suffer even more fiancially, perhaps needing massive aid programmes to survive?
Hopefully, as you say Emps, wwill be forced to adopt better alternatives.
The reality is we have to I'm thinking.

:::tao::: ::cell::

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-03-2004 02:46

Hmmm...

The idea of my own government seriously entertaining the idea of backing anything that couldn't be spun, substantially taxed, stealth-taxed, monopolised, and otherwise used to generate renewable revenue on the long term is, dare i admit it...

...a rather pleasant one.

I wish I could be so optimistic...

______________________

Onwards & Upwards..?
______________________

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 06-03-2004 03:32

*leaps out of the shadows and glances around maniacally*

Yak milk!

*runs off toward the tower, cackling with glee*

___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | Hooray for linguistic idiots and yak milk!

(Edited by Suho1004 on 06-03-2004 03:32)

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-03-2004 11:34

*sigh*

Ok...I see this is not something that people seem to want to converse over seriously.

@ Emps - well, this problem is being largely ignored by Germany. I saw a documentary (in German) about this problem (mostly concerning Germany, but also the rest of Europe). Though there are alternate energy projects, there is nothing in place, or really being considered, that can replace Oil in the short run. Nothing.

I think people are being quite naive here. Does anyone really realize, what type of effort (not to mention cost) it will take, to re-fit the Military (in various lands) with these alternate energy sources? Keep in mind, that Militaries do NOT enjoy being made "weaker" - so this "alternative Energy" must be at least either equal to Oil energy...or everyone takes the Alternate Energy route at the same time (which I don't believe will be the case). And what about Flying vehicles (like Jet Planes, etc)? Is it being seriously suggested, that these vehicles should be powered by alternate energy sources? Which ones?

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

MW
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: 4800N 751E
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 06-03-2004 13:40

From my (probably naive) point of view, the military isn´t nearly as important for europe as for the US,
because Europe doesn´t rely on a military-backed foreign policy so much.

As I see it, rebuilding the civil sector to not rely on oil anymore will be the bigger and more important problem, and when this is done, some of the technologies will be adapatble for military use, too.
Until then, we´ll have to pay the higher oil prices to keep our military running, but we won´t have nearly as much of a problem with that as the US, because our military structure is much smaller in the first place and does not rely on such an incredible air cargo logistics network around the globe.

Of course there´s still the problem of what to replace oil with in the end - For mobile systems, Hydrogen, probably in the form of Methanol is the only alternative known at the moment and it still has serious problems - But I am optimistic about that, considering how technology has advanced in the past 50 years - we might find solutions that seem totally beyond the thinkable today.

The head start I see europe having is that we have a trend to actually decrease our oil and general energy consumption and to invest into reneweable energy sources, while the US seems to steer the course of actually pushing for more consumtion on all fronts. This, combined with the fact that with our ridiculously high gas taxes we have a pretty large buffer for our economy (if the oil prices quadruple, but we cut that tax to zero, gas will be cheaper than now), makes me somewhat optimistic that europe can get through the transformation phase relatively smoothly.

My real concern is whith India, China and the US. The first two probably unable, and the third obviously unwilling to even start preparing for this transformation. If their leaders don´t start really soon to steer the right course, future leaders in these countries will face exactly two options: Rapid economic decline to the point of complete failure - or military action to gain control over oils reserves. This could easily become world war three.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-03-2004 15:44

I tend to agree with MW here.

What I didn't see in your numbers, and what I think will be a pretty key factor in how much of a problem Europe will see, is the amount of oil used by the military vs. civilian uses.

If the civil sector can adapt to alternative energy sources, that will obviously be a very serious reduction in the need for oil, despite the reliance of the military on oil.

That reduction will be buy a pretty significant amount of time for further development.

The US will have a much more difficult time adapting to alternative energy sources, for a variety of reasons (some valid, some not...).

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-03-2004 16:02

And what about Air Travel? And Warplanes?

Now, there are Ramjets (and Scramjets), processes being testet - but they rely on conventional fuels to bring them first to appropriate speeds, before using Hydrogen.

Other than that...I don't see any other alternative energy source yet that can power these types of vehicles.

Also, there doesn't seem to be any great "drives" to get away from Oil in any country, at the moment - there are various programs for the developement of alternative energy, and in Europe high gas prices does tend to make one be more economical with regard for gas, but there is not a great "push" to anything else, at the moment.

Case in point - fuel cells, electric cars and hybrids. Not very much choice of such at the moment. In Germany, I think there are one or two offered models. And that is it. And the cost is so high, only the rich can enjoy it, if one can call that enjoyment. Obviously, concerns about Oil are not very high, apparently.

I can't speak for England, of course...does England have autos that run on alternative energy sources? How much do they cost? How available are they?

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: France
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-03-2004 16:10

I also share MW view on the situation. The Europe have, since the first oil crisis, started to use alternative sources of energy. Be it only for domestic use, the sources of energy are pretty wide. For instance, in France more than 75% percents of the electricity is produced by our nuclear plants, a big part of the rest is done thanks to some dams. But in Europe there's a real trend to use renewable eneriges such as wind, sun, dams, ... so I doubt the incoming lack oil will have a bigger impact in Europe than in the US, China or India.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Still looking..
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-09-2004 00:04

Haha..

quote:
There are a lot of folks that can't understand how we ran out of oil here in the USA. Well, here's the answer: It's simple.........nobody bothered to check the oil. They didn't know we were getting low. And of course the reason for that is geographical. We keep all the oil in Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska, but all the dipsticks are in Washington, D.C.





QUOTATION: Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." -Terry Pratchett

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 06-09-2004 03:51

Interesting and worrying article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1233533,00.html

especially:

quote:
But the age of cheap oil is over. If you doubt this, take a look at the BBC's online report yesterday of a conference run by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. The reporter spoke to the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol. "In public, Mr Birol denied that supply would not be able to meet rising demand ... But after his speech he seemed to change his tune: 'For the time being there is no spare capacity. But we expect demand to increase by the fourth quarter by 3m barrels a day. If Saudi does not increase supply by 3m barrels a day by the end of the year we will face, how can I say this, it will be very difficult. We will have difficult times.'" The reporter asked him whether such a growth in supply was possible, or simply wishful thinking. "'You are from the press?' Birol replied. 'This is not for the press.'" So the BBC asked the other delegates what they thought of the prospects of a 30% increase in Saudi production. "The answers were unambiguous: 'absolutely out of the question'; 'completely impossible'; and '3m barrels - never, not even 300,000'. One delegate laughed so hard he had to support himself on a table." And this was before they heard that two BBC journalists had been gunned down in Riyadh.



This would suggest we might be in for an unpleasant time sooner than I would have thought just based on current oil supplies and don't Al Qaeda know it.

Of course the real solution is to ramp up investment in alternative fuels and cut the strings to the Middle East which the terrorists will use to strangle us with but that would be election suicide in the US.

___________________
Emps

The Emperor dot org | Justice for Pat Richard | FAQs: Emperor | Site Reviews | Reception Room

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-09-2004 20:33

England has a number of natural-gas vehicles on the road. Most of them are council vehicles - for instance, all of Wandsworth Council's cars and vans are dual-fuel.

It is relatively easy to adapt a petrol vehicle to natural gas, and there are incentives to do so. For instance, gas vehicles are exempt from the Central London congestion charges (a fixed charge for entering a defined zone in London).

However, regardless of the fact that ALL cars go the same speed in traffic (of which there is an abundance), nobody wants to give up their high-powered, high-speed, pose-mobiles. They may be crawling along in a queue of cancer-farting metal boxes on wheels, but they can dream of putting their foot down on some long and empty road.

The real problem is that people are fickle. There is a motion to spend hundreds of thousands on building a museum celebrating the history of gay rights, uproar over the lack of special funding for Islamic schools, a campaign to ban public smoking, and MILLIONS being spent on campaigns for tomorrow's London Mayor and European elections - but not even one high-profile campaign or project regarding such an issue as the one being discussed in this thread.

It isn't just that the people don't care - they're just stupid. That may only be my opinion, but I haven't had it disproved.

Who gives a flying f*** about gay-rights museums, religiously selective schools, or how many bus posters are touting Ken Livingstone's twisted ideas for money-making off the back of the working classes (like introducing the congestion charge)?

The answer is: more than seem to care about the future energy needs of their children's children.

The human race as a whole are incapable of considering something as actually important until they are up to their neck in it.

When everything is grounded and only the decidedly well-off can afford to heat their homes (with the elderly dying in frozen droves) - that is when the average idiot will suddenly start shouting "why didn't someone do something about this earlier?"

Until they are forced to walk or cycle to their gay-rights museums and racist schools, they will continue blithely, completely ignorant of the efforts being made by so very few to ensure the stability of a future they've been able to take for granted since the day they were born.


...and I couldn't really give a shit if none of that made any sense, or if anyone was offended. I've had a crap day and that was my penny's worth.

_____________________

If I'm not down and out...
. . . am I 'up and in' ??
_____________________

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Still looking..
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-10-2004 19:34

The only part that sunk in to my head was regarding Ken Livingstone.. and it brought to mind his attempt to hijack the 'Notting Hill Carnival' and all the revenue it will bring by re-locating it to some central location.

The rest is a blur.. cos I have had more than a few beers this afternoon.

QUOTATION: Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." -Terry Pratchett

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-11-2004 16:15

Alarming.

IEA raises 2004 global oil demand forecasts, oil prices climb

quote:
The IEAs forecast for oil demand has more than doubled since October last year.



Wow.

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-14-2004 19:47

Xpirex,

Yeah, I'd have to agree. I think the Notting Hill Carnival should simply be banned altogether.

Maybe I am being unfair in light of the fact that it has become less of a scum-run (rapes, stabbings, shootings, looting, heavy drug abuse, and least of all, muggings) of late, but having once lived on its route and seen what it was like, I can't find myself caring much for it.

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