~e; Fwd: To OPEC or Not to OPEC (ii)

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Tue, 7 Jan 2003 01:51:56 -0600

[my apologies to PEN-Listmembers for who this is a
dual post. at certain times it seems necessary to share
content between EM energy and policy, especially as
it includes many cultural aspects, i will try to keep this
to a minimum should this scenario continue...

this post is sent to the electronetwork-list with the basic
intention of noting a few significant events that have
just recently hit the news, as a glut of information now
seems to be available about energy and EM issues
and current events that otherwise has been non-existent.
there have been reports on the list about magnetic bombs
and this type of thing, with the pending Iraqi war, and now
new mention of actual use of 'tactical nuclear weapons'
in the battle field (these, as far as i am aware, are lower-
yield weapons that can be fired by tanks or dropped by
planes with smaller but no less deadly nor toxic nuclear
detonations), in addition to using night-vision goggles
(EM-battlegear) for unique night warfighting advantages.
in addition, the maneuvering of OPEC nations like Saudi-
Arabia, last week, reversing its official course of using its
bases during a war, and the deeper conflicts with the oil
strike in Venezuela, bring OPEC and non-OPEC relations
to the fore, with Russia playing a significant role in all
things oil, pre- and post-war, should things continue.

one of the easiest things to realize when studying EM is
how most everything relies on it in order to function, from
militaries to these computers and e-mails shuttled around
from server to server to PC via electrons, powered by oil.
forecasts seem to predict a certain level of chaos in the
otherwise religiously stable oil market, since the 1970s.
so, to keep in mind that as of yesterday it was official in
a press story that OIL is a key issue in the current conflict:

please read this document if it at all concerns you:

U.S. Is Completing Plan to Promote a Democratic Iraq


[so far, i think this remains in the politically neutral realm,
or i'm holding my breath on 'cheneynomics' and the great
success of the tv-movie 'Crooked E' about Enron that aired
on broadcast tv last night, picking up the biggest ratings.]

in any case, below is a post, an update regarding several
segments of this story, if it is of any interest, much of it is
related to EM in its various, more militaristic guises of war,
and yet, should tactical nukes go off, it would instantly change
the order (cultural and psychological) of the world. and so it
is with this type of possibility in mind that this is forwarded...]

  just sent to the Public Energy Network list...

  the information barrage has begun. to provide some
  context, it is now official that the situation in Venezuela
  has not been resolved as had been planned/hoped for.
  this apparently was the cause for the unique talks between
  OPEC and non-OPEC nations (Russian, in particular). an
  article from the WSJ follows, in full, describing it in detail.
  also of note, besides nuclear wargaming with N.Korea,
  is that gold and oil are at record highs, 33.00+US/barrel,
  which is said to indicate many things to many people if
  it should stay at this rate for a month or more. although
  i have little/no knowledge in this area, besides common
  sense, it seems that when chaos enters the equation that
  one week may also have unknown impacts, due to other
  decisions made by people down the production line, such
  as gas-prices going up, but also all oil-based goods, and
  if things are shaky/unstable for any length of time, it could
  bode badly if there were suddenly quick shortages or spikes,
  and order became disorder. mention is of the 'strategic oil
  reserve' in the US (the EU's was filled up in summer, too,
  i think) which may ultimately be tapped in emergencies.

  the overriding thought is that of yesterday's contemplation
  that after a US invasion of Iraq, to 'liberate' its people let's
  say for diplomatic speak, is the assumption that some kind
  of status quo will be met at the conclusion of this war at
  the OPEC table, and Iraq's newly branded representers.
  this is one thing that seems improbable in this universe,
  that a government could be decapitated, if it should happen,
  and business as usual continues between OPEC and non-
  OPEC countries, and Iraq's new 'regime' (if it is called that)
  would be inbetween these elements, with lots of oil in play.
  it doesn't make any sense to me- not sure if anyone else
  gets the same dissonance, that after a 'successful military'
  war their may be another 'political oil' war, in which it may
  be possible- due to complications in supply and demand-
  that someone's oil or market may be transformed by this,
  power increased or decreased in some significant way-
  and will this be OPEC and non-OPEC countries, or will
  it be a change in the oil-order as it currently exists, such
  that relations with OPEC are forever changed/transformed?
  i myself do not have any idea, only that it seems extremely
  unlikely that things will stay the same, and if there is a glut
  of oil because of overproduction, in which oil prices stay
  reasonable but markets shift, that should Iraqi oil come
  back into massive oil production, will it be with non-OPEC
  countries, in OPEC-land? and what might this mean? it
  seems that the three global powers might prefer this...

[ first, a few short excerpts with links ]

1- Venezuela fails to revive its crude-oil production

2- Troop buildup in Gulf enables Bush to order attack

The campaign's theme will be lightning-fast strikes designed to quickly  
disable Saddam's command authority and sever communication lines to his  
troops, some of whom are likely to switch sides.
     The air strikes and ground offensives are expected to begin at  
night. Since the 1991 Gulf war, the Army has developed improved  
night-vision goggles and sensors that enable helicopter aviators and  
ground forces to conduct operations in darkness. Few foreign armies,  
including Iraq's, can match this nocturnal capability.

3- Two-layer defense for Baghdad

     Military experts said the Iraqis plan to trap U.S. and allied  
forces, which under current plans would begin a ground invasion after  
extended bombing raids. The double perimeter may be designed to draw  
U.S. and allied forces toward Baghdad and then conduct artillery  
attacks on them using shells filled with chemical and biological  
     The attacks would make it difficult for the United States to  
retaliate with tactical nuclear weapons without causing large-scale  
civilian casualties.

4- An interesting overview article to read....

Business - Dow Jones Business News
OPEC Plans Boost in Output Amid Fear of War, Shortages
55 minutes ago


NEW YORK -- With war in oil-rich Iraq looming, Saudi Arabia and several  
other OPEC (news - web sites) members are backing a plan to increase  
oil output around the world by as much as two million barrels a day,  
opening the spigot much wider than expected, Tuesday's Wall Street  
Journal reported.

The move comes as a strike in Venezuela has crippled oil production and  
sent prices higher -- and as the U.S. and other countries have been  
quietly trying to stockpile oil in advance of potential war, with  
limited success.

The prospect of a war in Iraq has sparked fears of serious oil  
shortages. Venezuela's strike alone has subtracted two million barrels  
a day from world markets. Iraq is producing more than two million  
barrels a day itself and exports much of it under United Nations (news  
- web sites) supervision. The U.S. Energy Information Administration  
predicted last week that crude-oil inventories for the end of December  
would be at their lowest level since 1975.

OPEC officials say they could not make up for the simultaneous loss of  
oil production from both Venezuela and Iraq. The group is now taking  
the unusual step of calling on non-OPEC exporters such as Russia,  
Norway and Mexico to produce extra barrels.

The move suggests that OPEC is eager to avoid potentially huge price  
increases. As recently as this weekend, OPEC officials including the  
group's president, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, had led the market to  
expect an increase of only one million barrels a day, or half the  
current plan.

OPEC officials declined to say whether their move to produce more oil  
is related to the prospect of war coming on top of the Venezuelan  
strike. But their timing suggests that the group is serious about  
getting more oil to markets in the next 30 days to 40 days. That also  
is viewed as the Bush administration's rough time-frame for a possible  
attack on Iraq. United Nations inspectors are due to deliver their  
report on Iraq's weapons programs on Jan. 27.

Wall Street Journal Staff Reporters Bhushan Bahree, Alexei Barrionuevo  
and Thaddeus Herrick contributed to this report.

   Dow Jones Newswires
   01-07-03 0051ET

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