Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Corrupt Russia, Iran, Venezuela Frighten Foreign Investors

National oil companies in Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia etc. are beginning to reap what they have sown. Their oil & gas infrastructures are beginning to show the wear and decline of underinvestment. The governments of these countries all seized many billions of dollars worth of assets from private multi-national oilcos that had developed difficult oil & gas fields, then allowed the seized assets to decline from lack of maintenance and upkeep.

Is it any surprise that foreign investors are reluctant to go back into these treacherous countries and Mafia states to help bring their petroleum infrastructures back up to basic standards?
Venezuela's oil industry is hampered by a lack of foreign investment, and the country will be keen to see prices high this year while output can be maintained....Iran finds it more difficult to get access to modern technology to rejuvenate its ailing production infrastructure, output is forecast to drop. The International Energy Agency says Iran's oil production could be cut by as much as 890,000 bpd to just under 3 million bpd by 2016...Russia's economy would suffer greatly from a meltdown of the European economy, losing out on both exports and investment flows. This would exacerbate a potential revenue loss from oil production, which could go into decline if investment is not stepped up sufficiently, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). _National

Oil dictatorships in Asia, MENA, SS Africa, and Latin America, are little better than organised criminal gangs -- which do not hesitate to seize valuable assets of any foreigners trusting enough to invest inside their countries.

If the energy starvationist regime of US President Obama is ever removed from office, far more North American energy assets should become available for development. Significant opportunities for multi-national oilcos would then open up in the Arctic, offshore in multiple US continental shelf areas, in coal resources, bitumen resources, kerogen resources, and eventually methane hydrate resources.

Getting rid of Obama should also allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin licensing safe new reactor designs. This would benefit the hydrocarbon markets in multiple ways besides the reliable provision of electrical power -- prolonging supplies of gas and coal for many decades. One of the most fascinating impacts on hydrocarbon markets by advanced nuclear power would be the use of nuclear process heat to develop several trillion barrels of oil equivalent liquids from coal, gas, bitumens, kerogens, methane hydrates, and biomass. That is nothing to sneeze at.

While Russia continues to bang its head against the wall trying to develop rich Arctic reserves in the face of a global cooling trend and increased Arctic sea ice, the countries of North America, Oceania, and Europe could be developing alternative and unconventional sources of liquid fuels at a price below today's inflated oil prices.

Adapted from an earlier article at abu al-fin



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