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More wishful thinking than analysis

Reader comment on item: Will the Middle East Lose Its Importance in Washington?

Submitted by Karim (United Kingdom), Aug 16, 2012 at 17:10

What Dr. Miller stipulates is more wishful thinking than actual analysis. It's true that percentage of Middle East contribution to global energy needs has been declining over the last 2 decades, this shift has only happened due to increasing oil prices. With all due respect to Dr. Miller, but Sir you have missed a glaring "technical" reality. Production cost in the Middle East is the lowest in the world. The average cost to produce one middle eastern barrel of oil is about 5 dollars, while it stands at above 40$ in the north sea, and hovering between 20 to 30 US$ in Russia and the former soviet republics. Add the fact that the Middle East is home to the giant oil fields of the world. These oil fields will continue to produce well into the next century after all the oil fields of the world have run dry.

Any cataclysmic decline of the price of oil (say decline to below 40$ a barrel) will wipe out the production potential of the entire north sea oil fields and those of the Oil Sands of Canada, plus a hefty percentage of Russian production, as production will not be economical.

If the quest to develop cold fusion succeeds, it will take the world several decades to retrofit the entire industrial base from fossil fuel dependence to cold fusion, but this will only replace energy needs, and Oil is not just an energy source. Oil is the raw material for everything around us, from the keyboards I am typing this article on, to the plastic that encapsulate our toothpaste to the paint that adorns our rooms and offices, all these materials are Oil based.

I really do hope that the world can wean itself from oil; it is simply not sustainable on the long term to continue damaging our environment in this way, god put this stuff deep beneath the earth and made it impossibly difficult to find, for a reason.

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