Tuesday, April 10, 2007


‘BLACK OXYGEN’ – an excerpt

‘BLACK OXYGEN’ – an excerpt

PDI – Viewpoint – 8/30/05

Juan L. Mercado

Oil prices closed at $67.40 a barrel this week. That’s a long way from $1.80 a barrel in the 1950s. And when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) clamped an embargo in 1973, prices bolted overnight from over $2 a barrel o $11 plus…

Abroad, 55 miles per hour speed limits were clamped on. President Jimmy Carter called for the ‘moral equivalent of war’ to reduce dependence on foreign oil. That included filling the US strategic petroleum reserve and research for alternative energy. He was not reelected.

[What former President Carter attempted to do 34 years ago is now no longer just an option – it is a must!]

Habits die hard. Wasteful use of fuel continued. Few politicians think beyond the next election – or impeachment – even in countries that have no oil wells…

Failure to prepare is foolhardy because, unlike the 1973 artificial crisis, today’s shortages are real, writes Peter Maas in his just published book, “The Breaking Point”.

Supply’s lead over demand was once considerable, but refinery shortages and surging demand have whittled that down. If use pulls ahead of production by even a fraction, oil prices could soar to triple-digit levels, Maas warns in The New York Times magazine. That’d trigger a global recession and affect almost every product, from cell phones to medicine…

“Saudi Arabia is the sole oil superpower”. Its 263 billion barrels reserve is almost double runner-up Iran’s 133 billion barrels. Unexploited reserves in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge are only 10 billion barrels. New oil strikes in other countries offer small increments…

Even Saudi Arabia is feeling the strain as the world burns 84 million barrels daily.

Decades-old oil fields are not as “geologically spry as they used to be. Some may be incapable of producing, on a daily basis, the increasing volumes of oil that the world requires.” “One is clear,” warns Chevron, the second-largest American oil company’s new ads, “The era of easy oil is over.


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