Posts tagged “oil exploration”
During her visit to the Asia Pacific last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to the dispute over the South China Sea, arguably one of the region’s most intractable challenges that, left unmanaged, could uproot stability in East Asia. Those countries at the heart of the dispute — particularly China, Vietnam and the Philippines — need to “establish rules of the road and clear procedures for peacefully addressing disagreements,” Secretary Clinton urged.
High Stakes at Sea
The dispute is complex. States ringing the sea are becoming increasingly assertive in their claims, driven by concerns of nationalism, sovereignty, and even the need to stake claims to the region’s lucrative (but dwindling) fish stocks. And then there are the potential petroleum resources. Estimates of the region’s energy potential ranges widely, according to the independent U.S. Energy Information Agency: U.S. estimates suggest the region could contain roughly 28 billion barrels of oil; while Chinese estimates are much more optimistic, projecting more than 200 billion barrels of oil beneath the sea.
Despite much uncertainty about the size of the region’s oil and natural gas resources, countries in the region are increasingly behaving as though access to those potential petroleum reserves is zero-sum — a winner take all and leave none for the loser approach — that is pitting countries against each other to tap into those resources first. Indeed, China, Vietnam and the Philippines are actively soliciting bids from petroleum companies to explore for oil and gas in contested waters, escalating tensions and reinforcing this zero-sum perspective. This continued competition is destabilizing and countries in the region need to take efforts to tilt the balance of behavior toward cooperation so that countries across the region can benefit from the sea’s potential resource wealth.
One of the most contentious domestic political issues in the debate between energy development and environmental policy for over 20 years has been how to develop America’s energy resources in the Arctic. As Shell makes preparations to send offshore drilling rigs into the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas north of Alaska, I thought it would be important to walk through the history of energy exploration in Alaska.
Two weeks ago, I spoke as a part of a lecture series by the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center about energy development and ecosystems in the Arctic. Manomet is a conservation sciences organization that was founded to study migratory shorebirds; I was paired in the lecture with Stephen Brown, one of Manomet’s foremost experts on Alaskan shorebirds. The event was very interesting because it allowed a frank and open discussion of the threats and opportunities in the Arctic. The discussion below is adapted from my presentation.
The following guest analysis was written by the staff of Global Intelligence Report. ———————- SITUATION: One indirect consequence of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the impact it may have on the financing of the many tourism projects that have sprouted along the Caspian Sea. Bordered clockwise from the North by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the Caspian Sea is one of the largest bodies of water and an object of strategic ambitions. Though the global financial crisis put many grandiose Caspian Sea tourism projects on hold, some of them are coming back to life, but investors should be alert to tourism trends, corruption, and unanswered questions about demand and potential profit. ANALYSIS: The magnitude of the consequences… Continue»
Introduction It succors and drowns human life. And for the last eight years, oil — and the people and places that make it — was my obsession. – Peter Maass Today a new book by Peter Maass was released. The book is called Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil. Peter Maass is a name you may know from a 2005 article that he wrote for the New York Times called The Breaking Point. The story was a comprehensive look at where he thought oil production/prices were headed – and what the implications might be. Maass focused on Saudi Arabia in the article, and spent a lot of time covering Matt Simmons’ viewpoints. It was after reading this story that… Continue»
George Stephanopoulos was relentless with Nancy Pelosi on ABC News regarding the question of allowing a vote on opening up more areas for drilling. In between repeated questions of “Why won’t you allow a vote?”, she repeated the canard about oil companies sitting on all of this undeveloped land (there already is a ‘use it or lose it’ provision), said that we need ‘real solutions’ like tapping the SPR, and said that allowing drilling wouldn’t make any difference anyway and was a gimmick. (Why not then extract money from the oil companies for the right to look?) She spoke out against the threat of global warming, and just as passionately called for oil to be released from the SPR, completely… Continue»
I said I wasn’t going to update until Wednesday, but have a little free time this morning. Imagine my surprise to read this headline today: Senate Democrats offer deal to break energy bill standstill Turns out they are proposing the same deal that I proposed in my essay from last week on coming to a compromise on the drilling question: WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid surprised Republicans on Monday by offering them a chance to vote this week on four GOP-backed amendments to an energy bill, including one that would expand offshore oil drilling. The possible breakthrough comes days before Congress recesses for August and lawmakers return home to face constituents anxious for relief at fuel pumps…. Continue»
I have given a lot of thought to the issue of opening up new areas for drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). My position has always been to leave that oil in place for a very rainy day. I wanted to see major conservation efforts in place before we considered tapping that oil. Opening those areas when oil was $20 a barrel would have meant that much of it would have been used frivolously. Now that oil is over $100 – and in my opinion will be much higher in 5 or 10 years (T. Boone Pickens predicts $300/bbl in 10 years) – we will have tightened our belts a good… Continue»
I was recently pointed to a new survey on energy conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. I have to admit that I do not know the political leanings (if any) of this organization. The surveys on their homepage looked pretty balanced to me. Regardless, I was pretty surprised at the results of the survey, a summary of which can be found here. Source: Pew Research Center As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Energy Exploration Rises The public’s changing energy priorities are most evident in the growing percentage that views increased energy exploration – including mining and drilling, as well as the construction of new power plants – as a more important priority for energy… Continue»