Venezuela Plans to Split State Oil Company

David Schanoes dmsch at
Thu Jan 9 15:52:13 MST 2003

I believe it is mistaken to describe the motivation for the attack on Iraq
as part of a looming shortage of extractable petroleum.  Statistics from the
US Energy Information Agency indicate no such shortage with accessible
reserves of petroleum actually increasing on a year to year basis.  EIA
analyses also show the price of production of oil falling to near historic
lows in the late 90s, approaching the record low cost of 1972.

Prior to the OPEC price increase of 1999, particularly for 96,97,98 US and
Multinational investment in new fields, exploration, development had been
extremely high, with new reserves identified and developed particularly in
the Gulf of Mexico.

Control certainly is the issue, but I don't believe that control is
predicated on a shortage.  Quite the reverse,  clearly the investment in oil
production and its spectacularly declining price prior to the OPEC move
where cause and effect of overproduction, and have everything to do with the
social organization of capitalist production rather than the availability of
a natural resource.

The Caspian fields are not the largest, but they are large, estimated to be
the 9th largest fields yet discovered, and indeed the Caspian is the scene
of much conflict among Iran, Georgia, Kazakhstan, with shots being traded
and gunboats deployed.

Control in the Iraq case will certainly involve the destruction, or damaging
of its oil producing apparatus.  And... I'm sure I'm not the first to say
it, actually I think Bush did in his axis of evil speech, Iran looms as the
next target in order to secure the Caspian region.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Jones" <

>Offshore and expensive oil deposits have been exploited first and are now
> running out; but because Opec continued to have spare capacity and could
> swing-producers, oil has remained very cheap and the economy has not had
> enough price-indicators to encourage conservation, alternatives etc. Now
> Non-Opec oil is running out,

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