[Marxism] Michael Klare on competition for oil and gas

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 9 13:07:26 MDT 2005


The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy
By Michael T. Klare

 From Washington to New Delhi, Caracas to Moscow and Beijing, national 
leaders and corporate executives are stepping up their efforts to gain 
control over major sources of oil and natural gas as the global struggle 
for energy intensifies. Never has the competitive pursuit of untapped oil 
and gas reserves been so acute, and never has so much money as well as 
diplomatic and military muscle been deployed in the contest to win control 
over major foreign stockpiles of energy. To an unprecedented degree, a 
government's success or failure in these endeavors is being treated as 
headline news, and provoking public outcry when a rival power is seen as 
benefiting unfairly from a particular transaction. With the officials of 
numerous governments coming under mounting pressure to satisfy the needs of 
their individual countries -- at whatever cost -- the battle for energy can 
only become more inflamed in the years ahead.

This struggle is being driven by one great inescapable fact: the global 
supply of energy is not growing fast enough to keep up with skyrocketing 
demand, especially from the United States and the developing nations of 
Asia. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), global energy 
consumption will grow by more than 50% during the first quarter of the 21st 
century -- from an estimated 404 to 623 quadrillion British thermal units 
(BTUs) per year. Oil and natural gas will be in particular demand. By 2025, 
global oil consumption is projected to rise 57%, from 157 to 245 
quadrillion BTUs, while gas consumption is projected to have a 68% growth 
rate, from 93 to 157 quads. It appears increasingly unlikely, however, that 
the world's energy firms will actually be able to deliver such quantities 
of oil and gas in the coming decades, whether for political, economic, or 
geological reasons. With prices rising all over the world and serious 
shortages in the offing, every major consuming nation is coming under 
increasing pressure to maximize its relative share of the available energy 
supply. Inevitably, these pressures will pit one state against another in 
the competitive pursuit of oil and natural gas.

full: http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=2400

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