Sunday, July 17, 2005


Original art by Elaine Supkis

Right now, the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are being abandoned as Hurricane Emily grinds ever closer, her skerry-quern of destruction mills the ocean's depths, the continental shelf shivering under her blows. We get a lot of our oil from Mexico.

From the BBC:
As oil prices remain volatile the markets do their best to forecast future prices. Unfortunately this is not an easy task. While it may appear extraordinary to outsiders one of the main problems in the oil market is the reliability of basic statistics.

The oil industry calls the problem 'data transparency'. As an example this week is a 'revision' to oil demand growth in the United States in 2004.

Previously the growth in oil demand was thought to be 2.4%, about 484,000 barrels per day. In fact it was 697,000 barrels per day or 3.5%. That is in fact 46% more than was previously stated - a huge revision.
In other words, we are gas guzzling with a vengence. Despite the relentless hike in prices, America still is in love with burning fossil fuels. Far from reforming our ways, we go on a wayward last yahoo.

From Xinhaunet:
The competition between the China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) and Chevron to acquire Unocal is coming to the crucial moment, said the CNOOC spokesman on Thursday.

California-based Unocal Company will hold a board meeting at its local time Thursday to decide whether to accept the takeover bid of CNOOC.

According to the spokesman, the board will decide whether to support CNOOC's all cash bid of 18.5 billion US dollars for Unocal and whether to recall its further acceptance of Chevron's cash and share bid of 16.6 billion US dollars.

If the Unocal board decides to support CNOOC's bid, it will recommend the plan to Unocal's shareholders, who will hold a special meeting on Aug.10 to make the final vote on Unocal's acquisition choice.

However, if the board denies CNOOC's bid, it does not mean that CNOOC has lost the final opportunity, said the spokesman.

According to securities law in the US, CNOOC could apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the US to win support directly from the shareholders, even though that would make it more difficult for CNOOC to make the deal, he said.
Seems the Chinese have figured out all the nicities of hostile take overs. Move over, Chainsaw Al.

The Chinese will get what they want because they have the loot. Our rulers can stymie them only if they cough up some money and they really would rather do it all on the cheap, bribe some politicians, etc. Only the crafty Chinese know the politicians all love money, too, and are for sale just like the media whores. Everyone is on the auction block. Even the rich. Everyone wants to get rich quick and not pay a price for this.

Now for a pair of news stories that are intertwined like the eternal world serpent,Orobouros. From Xinhuanet:
Japan is stamping on China's maritime rights by granting Japanese firm Teikoku Oil Co the right to test drill for gas and oil in a part of the East China Sea disputed by the two countries and muddying the waters of the East China Sea, the China Daily said in an editorial Saturday.

Japan's move could lead to confrontation with China, it warned, citing that the Chinese government's calls to solve the dispute through negotiation have fallen on deaf ears in Japan .

Giving Teikoku the go-ahead to test drill is a move which makes conflict between the two nations inevitable, though what form this clash will take is hard to tell, the daily said.

It said that Japan's attempt to force gas exploration in an area beyond the Okinawa submarine trench has many motivations:

-- Japan's need for oil is not a new issue. The island country has secured several oil suppliers. Gas resources in the area near the Diaoyu islets are unlikely to quench its thirst for oil.

-- Japan's unilateral action to start drilling, which flies in the face of international maritime laws, is not simply about new sources of energy. It reveals plainly the country's intention to take China Diaoyu islets for good.
Flash point alert time. This is why a top Chinese general reminded us all about the price we will pay for WWIII especially if we decide to play mercenary for Japan.

Again, from Xinhuanet:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will prioritize China over Japan as the recipient of oil supplies from a pipeline project linking eastern Siberia with the Russian Far East.

Putin made the remarks during a news conference after the three-day summit of the Group of Eight powers in Gleneagles, Scotland, according to a report by Japan's Kyodo news agency

Both Japan and China have tried to convince Russia to favor it in planning the pipeline's route. Russia had at one point last year agreed to build a 4180-km pipeline from Taishet near Lake Baikal to Nakhodka on Russia's Sea of Japan coast, Japan's preferred route. Tokyo has offered to extend some $12 billion to help finance the project.

China, which had initially inked the deal for a pipeline from the Siberian oil fields to Daqing, later offered Moscow more than $13 billion, Kyodo said.
Every major power is rapidly choosing sides. This war will be over oil. The increasing chumminess of Putin and Hu and Wen is a historic power shift. It isn't a thin thing but has a solid foundation. Europe sided with Bush and repudiated Putin and Bush's personal attacks on him have shoved him into the gleeful waiting arms of the Chinese. This is a very formidable alliance. Together, they will dominate Asia. Japan can project power only via the American war machine.

Since the Japanese own a trillion of government debt we unloaded on them this means they own our government and can force us into being the clone of the Japanese warriors who fought all of the world during WWII. Why we allowed ourselves to become the tool of those we struggled to dominate sixty years ago is one of history's greatest ironies.
Putin made it plain this time that the construction of the Pacific-bound pipeline will be contingent on development of a new oil field in eastern Siberia -- where the amount of oil deposits remains unconfirmed.

He said the three-year first phase of the project will be launched as early as this year, with 20 million tons of oil supplied to China a year and another 10 million tons transported to the Pacific by train.

Japan has told Russia it may not offer financing for the pipeline project if the prospect of Russian oil reaching the Sea of Japan coast diminishes.

Kyodo quote Japanese observers as saying Putin's remarks indicate that the Japanese government's strategy to build up bilateral ties with Russia through the pipeline project in the hope of finding a way to make progress with the ongoing territorial row have been dashed with the latest developments.

When complete, the pipeline is expected to funnel 80 million tons of oil a year.
You see, Japan wanted to use money to buy influence but they didn't want to spend political capital. They basically treated the Russians as a third world nation that needed to obey them if they wanted development. The Chinese offered the Russians a multilevel, multilateral series of agreements and treaties, all of which make Russia vastly stronger, internationally as well as on the domestic plane.

Each Chinese agreement dovetailed into the other. They were carefully crafted with one eye on history for the history of the intersection of Japan, Korea, China and Russia's spheres of influence in that key area is long and bloody and a mess. This is why North Korea has been able to thumb their nose at America. America chose to be a tool of Tokyo and the Koreans don't exactly like Japan for obvious reasons so they leaned towards China, an ancient ally.

So here we sit, we have our military overextended protecting various people who hate each other and don't particularily like us, and what do we get for all this?

You tell me.

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