giovedì, gennaio 03, 2008

Peak oil or nationalism at its peak?

Le quotazioni del benchmark sul mercato del petrolio hanno toccato i 100$. ll maggiore responsabile non è la geologia, ma lo statalismo di alcuni governi, soprattutto quelli produttori di petrolio, che rischiano di uccidere la gallina dalle uova d'oro nero nell'illusione di coniugare prosperità e socialismo.
clipped from
new oil tends to be found in relatively inaccessible spots or in more unwieldy forms. That adds to the cost of extracting oil, because more engineers and more complex machinery are needed to exploit it—but the end of easy oil is a far remove from the jeremiads of peak-oilers. The gooey tar-sands of Canada contain almost as much oil as Saudi Arabia. Eventually, universities will churn out more geologists and shipyards more offshore platforms, though it will take a long time to make up for two decades of underinvestment.

The biggest impediment is political. Governments in almost all oil-rich countries, from Ecuador to Kazakhstan, are trying to win a greater share of the industry's bumper profits. That is natural enough, but they often deter private investment or exclude it altogether. The world's oil supply would increase markedly if Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell had freer access to Russia, Venezuela and Iran. In short, the world is facing not peak oil, but a pinnacle of nationalism.

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