[Marxism] Oil

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 16 15:03:28 MDT 2008

The life of the North Sea fields has extended far beyond original estimates, 
beyond later estimates, and in particular estimates of the peak oil 

The North Sea fields exhibit not one peak and decline, but 
peak/decline/peak/decline and the output most certainly does not follow the 
Hubbert bell curve.

I think that the major problem with North Sea oil, that force driving the 
reduction in output is the deterioration of the infrastructure, platforms 
that have already outlived their design life,  requiring massive and costly 
rehabilitation, and the introduction of more expensive machinery to get the 
oil, the outlay for which can only be recovered over time.  The  economics 
of such rehabilitation does not make economic sense to our oil majors.

Some smaller operators with much shorter time horizons have taken over some 
fields and platforms to make their profit on the margin between productivity 
and collapse.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but didn't Bush make it perfectly 
clear just how important removal of supplies from the world scene was with 
his threatening war every time the price of oil stabilized or declined, and 
then going after Iraq when he thought he could get away with it after the 
country had record several years of output near 3 million barrels a day 
during the time of the great prices collapse in 1998?  Didn't the price of 
oil stabilize in 2002, with a decline in earnings among the oil majors, and 
the plummeting of natural gas prices?  And what happened after that?  A war 
and here we are.

As for controlling access to oil supplies, and keeping them away from 
China--that's the kind of argument peak oil theorists use to explain US 
actions in the Persian Gulf, Latin America, Africa.

The remark about Canada was meant as "irony," a "literary device." 

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