(fwd from Schanoes) Oil and overproduction
schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Jan 13 11:55:24 MST 2003
[submitted from unsubbed address ]
Lou and Co.
I am at work and just want to put one issue to rest: reserves. Later
I will respond to the rest of LP's comments.
Leaving the Caspian out ot the discussion: Proven reserves as reported
by the US Energy Information Agency, and this is just a partial list,
APEC (not OPEC, the Asian Pacific...), Venezuela, Russia,
Argentina,Brazil, Persian Gulf countries, Mexico, Nigeria, Angola,
Congo-Brazzaville , Gabon, the Arab Maghreb Union is:
1,125, 625,000,000 barrels. Let's say 1 trillion. At the present rate
of consumption, less than 80 million barrels a day, that will take us
forward another 40 years. And this is only a partial list, leaving out
Canada, many Sub-Saharan African countries, etc. Now I know that some
of this oil will be difficult or impossible to extract, there will
difficulties in transport, there are different grades and sulfur
contents, etc. But those are questions of cost, of price, of
technology, of profit under capitalism, not questions of resources.
One more thing, many countries have seen estimates of proven reserves
record significant increases since 1996.
If you were to ask any oil corporation executive:, "Which has more
importance to your company, the 40 year outlook, or this year's rate of
return on investment?", even without knowing the ABCs of Marxism he or
she will reply "the roi" (if honest.)
Knowing the ABC's of Marxism makes that reply even more accurate.
My point is we are not at the end of a natural resource. But David W
and Charles J make an equally important point, we are not at the end of
technology, of development. What we are at is simply the point where
the means of production, the needs of production, have run up against
the limits of the relations of production, the limits of capital, of
wage-labor, of private property. And that point indicates not the
opening of the era of wars for resources, but the opening of the era of
And if that's and ABC course, that's fine. Beats the hell out of the
other scenarios I've seen lately.
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