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Friday, March 17, 2006

Geopolitics of Oil & Gas

The importance of securing petroleum supply for the future is not something we can underestimate. There is certain country which have already prepared themselves to face a possibility of petroleum supply shortage by stockpiling enough crude oil for emergency situation. United States (and its coalition) even invaded Iraq in the name of saving the world for Iraq's oil (it's all about oil mate!). US do need a lot of oil because all their war machines need fuel to run and of course their industries also need oil and gas to keep their economy growing.

Other country, such as China, also try to increase the reserves of their national oil companies by investing overseas. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) once even submitted a bid to take over Unocal for US$18.5 Billions, before the US Senate blocked the deal. The Senate's decission not to approve the deal was not purely related to business but it was more of a political reason due to the fear of "potential threats to US national security". It was alleged that China wanted to dominate oil resources for the benefit of their economy and military (as if United States themselves did not think alike).

Oil and gas business is more than merely an ordinary business. It is related to supplying energy, something we really need to live, for all kind of machines we're using at the moment. Energy will always be in demand, and the trend is ever increasing never decreasing. Apart from its importance for economy, oil is important for national defence, unless a war plane can fly or a tank can run without fuel. Therefore whoever have secured oil and gas reserves for the future will be the one who determine the prices of petroleum, making a lot of money out of it, and obviously have more power politically because they can keep their war machines running. On the other hand, countries who rely too much on fossil fuel but not securing enough hydrocarbon supply for themselves will not be independent.

Using renewable energy becomes very important for many countries in the future, not only because of air pollution and climate change due to fossil fuel but for the sake of saving oil and gas mainly for their own national defence. This may be like a paranoid thought but who knows. The fact is some countries didn't mind to start war for securing oil and gas supply to their home, and they can also force other government to allow their corporation operating in a particular country by some military-related deals.

Image taken from Offshore Technology

1 comment:

Rovicky Dwi Putrohari said...

The threat of shortage energy is the most important. Is not just the natural energy resources but the shortage of a "ready use" energy. Oil is one the ready use energy. Oils already locked with the "machine".
However, I thought the threat of oil is in the usage of transportation with subtitution (biodiesel, gas, coal gasification), alternation energy use for engine (cell, hybrid). The threat of oil is mostly not becouse of lack of supply.