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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is it the oil?

The Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia is the world's largest. If Ghawar were to vanish tomorrow, civilization would totter -- and, perhaps, topple. In 1975, experts said that the field contained 60 million barrels of recoverable oil. To date, 65 billion barrels have been pumped out. The Saudis don't like to talk about how much is left.

In 2012, Citigroup issued a report which stated that Ghawar could run dry as early as 2030. That's why Saudi Arabia is investing in solar energy and nuclear power.

The 2012 report reflects a series of earlier pessimistic assessments. Right after these forecasts started to emerge, Saudi Arabia and its allies initiated furious efforts to topple Syria, a Shi'ite government with close ties to Iran. In recent months, the proxy war against Syria morphed into a proxy war against Iraq, another Shi'ite government with ties to Iran.

Both Iraq and Syria happen to have very large Sunni populations.

ISIS and the Nusra Front were funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni powers. The goal is to carve out a Sunni superstate, funded by oil and poised to strike Iran.

Why did the Saudis fund ISIS? Most people find motive in the traditional antagonism between Sunni and Shi'ite. But those two factions have been in conflict for centuries. Why has an ancient quarrel suddenly become grounds for a massive regional war?

Syria doesn't have a tremendous amount of oil, although the country may possess reserves that we mere mortals do not know about. Right now, ISIS controls perhaps 11 oil fields, and they are selling the product for cut-rate prices -- as low as $25 a barrel. ISIS-brand oil may be one small reason why you are paying less at the pump. The larger reason: The Saudis have gone on a price-slashing binge, which seems to be a rather desperate -- and temporary -- strategic maneuver.

I think that the rulers of Saudi Arabia want a Sunni superstate to emerge out of Syria and Iraq. The Saudis probably think that they can control this new regional power. I'm not sure that they can, but I'm pretty sure they think they can.

In other words, the Saudis needed more territory -- more resources -- so they hired ISIS to function as their proxy army. A Saudi/IS superstate would be well-poised to take on Iran.

Too often, this blog (like many other blogs) has focused on Israel, which has its own reasons for seeking regime change in Syria. Although Israel is a key player in this game, it is not the only player.
From the linked article;

P Escobar "... oil is less than 20 percent of Iran’s revenues, so it’s not essential for them. Gas is much more important."

Qatar has massive gas holdings which they want to deliver to the European market by a pipeline through Saudi Arabia. Assad is supporting Russia by holding out for an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. Don't forget that Qatar is Saudi Arabia's partner in funding ISIS.
i'm with cbarr.. the reason they want to get rid of assad is so there can be an alternative supply of gas/oil from qatar thru syria to the european market.. much of the geopolitics in this area is about the petrodollar, but if you can screw russia, or saudi arabia or whoever else in the process - i am sure they don't care.. james
I agree with the other commenters: it's about the (proposed) pipeline
Some people think the Saudis are doing this at the behest of the United States in order to take down Russia's economy. But as Pepe Escobar points out, low petroleum prices will tank the U.S. fracking boom (which is a ponzi scheme anyway). If this lasts it will bankrupt the deep water drilling industry too. Looks like the Suadi's are in this for themselves.
If this move of cut rate Saudi petroleum goes on long enough it could have the effect of a Wahhabi suicide bomb upon western civilization. This cheap oil will undermine developing alternative and renewable energy sources, causing them to fold, and forcing developers to seek employment elsewhere. Extreme petroleum extraction methods such as fracking, and deep water drilling would suffer the same fate as the world habituates to cheap Saudi oil.

This is puzzling when one considers the possibilities and rumors of depleting Saudi petroleum reservoirs. So we may enter into the future of post peak oil by eliminating our infrastructure and knowledge base for alternate energy and alternate petroleum technologies. In effect, entering a serious future struggle for civilizational survival with both hands tied behind our backs, totally unprepared for the new energy reality. If one wanted to return to medieval times, this is a good start.
Article summarizing the recent oil glut and Saudi-Syrian connections. Cites the Sept 11 meeting between John Kerry and King Abdullah.

This is still confusing since it is hard to believe that the US would intentionally cut the legs out from under its own domestic oil industry.
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