More war for less oil!
The attribution of the Nobel Prize of peace to Al Gore for his work shock many observers. Those wonder about the relationship between resources and wars, for my part what me is astonished it is that one asks this question. Since mists of time, the men make the war to steal to their neighbors the richnesses they have. And today, whereas oil and water become exhausted at the same rhythm that the ice-barrier melts, one wonders about the bond between resources and wars! Some have really the direction of humour or neuronal connections which would make pass the “whelks of the islands” for a genius.
I. Energy: wars of tomorrow.
A) Breakdown dries:
Whereas thousand explanations of the economic situation whimsical are brought to justify the rise of the oil price, the most credible structural explication is isolated: the exhaustion of the oil resources.
The oil field of Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, the largest oil reservoir in the world on which rests all the hopes of growth of the worldwide production of oil, seems more not to want to answer the whim of the exponential request since 2006. In the same way, the largest oil field of Mexico, Cantarell, knew a brutal production decrease since 2004. The second oil field in the world, the field of Burgan in Kuwait would have also reached her peak of production to him recently, the oil production of the North Sea drops already since 1999, finally the list of the countries which reached their oil peak of production is increasingly long and leaves place to the doubt less and less.
B) Duel of giant.
Seemingly, nobody worries about the peak of production of oil. No panic, not of amazing oil stock, not of oil rush, but behind this rise in the price of the liter of gasoline, a discrete war and nevertheless forces takes place for the last barrels of petrol available.
From a political point of view, two champions are opposed :
- the champion of yesterday : The USA which, for two centuries, have always known to take the important strategic turns.
- the champion of tomorrow: China, which beyond its billion three hundred million inhabitants, is especially able to build a policy with very long run. And that little country is today able to do it.
There are two “challengers”: India which has a vital need for energy for its growth and Russia that one a little quickly forgets but which however builds its return around energy.
Do not mislead you there because even if their war is discrete, it is not less brutal, and their only rule remains the complete absence of rules.
C) Economic world in boiling.
The oil companies are in first line in this war for new resources. They are not always conscious of the total stakes, but well with the fact however of the difficulty in finding new resources. Thus, they drill the last accessible oil fields massively.
Accessible technically : The new resources are increasingly complex to exploit and thus increasingly expensive. It is easy to conceive that a barrel, that one will seek with 2 kilometers under the sea or 6 kilometers (deep ultra offshore oil rig) under the ground, will be more expensive than a barrel extracted on ground after a simple drilling. The investment changes scale, one passes from the million dollars to the billion dollars.
Accessible politically : the problem for part of the oil companies is to have the political support necessary to venture on the last territories where resources are still available. It is the case of the countries to the climates geostrategic with “high voltage” ( Extremely tense geopolitical climate) in which even a multinational can lose to its last “trouser button” so much the plate tectonics between these giants is powerful. These last barrels of petrol are likely all to be a curse for the countries which have these last world reserves.
II. A step moreover towards chaos.
Since mists of time, the first reason to make the war with its neighbor remains covetousness : yesterday covetousness of gold or food, today covetousness of oil.
The bond between war and resources is not new but risk to be, still a little more than yesterday, at the origin of many wars to control the last oil fields and the strategic axes necessary to their transport. Not the big War as the “Cold War” imagined it, but small regional conflicts increasingly more, weakening still a little more many states already in critical situation. This considerably will increase the chaos whereas the problem of the energy production is added to other main issues like that of water, of pollution on bottom of growth of the world population.
b) Theory with the practice.
For tomorrow, still a little more than today, a theoretical reflexion “minimum” is necessary not to be opposed to a major tendency, and if possible to follow it. I am every day astonished by quasi the naivety by the long term vision by many industrialists and managers. The analogy which seems to me most suitable is that of the appearance of the railroad or the car and those then which continued to believe in the future of the animal haulage.
Today the turn is also important. Oil is still present, but the production will be dried up gradually, the wars to multiply in the producer countries and the new oil resources will be increasingly expensive to extract. Thus, the world of energy will be considerably modified and the economic world will undergo an enormous impact.
The six last years were those of the precursors, the years to come are those of the follower and after will come those from the mass. It will be then too late! If you were in the train at the beginning it is not the moment to go down, if you missed it is the moment to go up, indeed it does not have there a third stop.
A few years ago I passed for one illuminated by announcing a barrel of petrol to more than 80 dollars! The objective is achieved. I maintenances that it is right the first stage, it am not a top. You have the choice between building the world around your decisions or making the decisions from what is really the world, i.e. with less and less of oil, more and more of consumers, the prices in rise, more and more of wars and an “economic Big Bang” in construction to find an energy balance.
To conclude, it seems to me that this quotation of Charles Darwin is particularly adapted to the situation: "The species which survive are not the strongest species, nor most intelligent, but those which adapt best to the changes."
Dr. Thomas Chaize