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Bet you didn't know that the biggest oilfield on dry land in Western Europe is in England, not only that but it's near a camp site in Devon! Ok, Wych Farm in Purbeck isn't South Fork, but the nodding donkeys do suck up an impressive 85,000 barrels a day, and at $120 each at current prices that's lot of money. In fact about 70 miles of the southern coast of England is a bit of a hot sport for crude and with oil rising 400% in just four years its well worth the speculation. When I read that story in the broadsheets it reminded me of that episode of Rising Damp when Rigsby buys oil shares from his conman tenant Seymour, who convinces the seedy landlord there's oil in the Penninies, then alights with Rigsby's life savings. Oil has been drawn in Singleton, in West Sussex, since 1991, pulling out 30,000 barrels last year alone. Markwell Wood, near Chichester, is reported to be containing up to 200 million barrels at around 12 billion bucks at current prices. Oil speculation is back and there's money to be made. Could the south coast be the new Texas!
World demand isn't going to drop soon and so economies have to get used to the rise, absorbing a minimum $80 a barrel cost in the future. Oil companies are all too willing to keep the world-wide price high by funding wars and stoking conflicts, Iraq an extreme example of, Venezuela and Nigeria getting there, both Blair and Bush in the payroll of BP and UNOCAL, respectively - and so those small fields are suddenly viable again. The thinking may well be cynical from both big oil and western governments, the price hike paying for the most costly part of the oil business-exploration, but it works for them. In fact a high oil price benefits governments like ours because they continue to rake in huge tax revenue they can't get from anywhere else. But you guys already knew that - didn't you. The beauty here is that they are taxing people to go to work and as long as they are going to work then there's no recession. It's a balance that the British Treasury have always enjoyed and milked. And with Shell and BP making a million pounds an hour, the only-and critical-success stories on the financial markets to help fund our increasing pension policies and weakening economy, I don't see any change soon. It's widely known the oil companies are also refusing to build new refineries around the world to keep the price high. The big question is when will the oil companies start to help their existing customers by pegging the price so there's no world recession and so less customers? Or are there enough new emerging markets willing to pay top dollar to keep a pace?
The main problem the world has right now is oil and minerals are where the bulk of investments are going, now that the 'credit crunch' is biting our ass, speculators buying oil and so pushing up the cost of the dollar which all oil sales are pegged to. As demand won't fall any day soon then as long as the credit problem is out there then oil will eventually hit $200 per barrel, which will start a catastrophic world recession like we saw in the 70s, unless traders can come up with a complex market derivative that can bypass energy company bulk share buying. No one can see oil prices falling so everyone's recovering their losses on the oil markets. The biggest and willing lenders out there now are Middle Eastern Equity companies; trillions of dollars to lend, secured by the high oil prices of now and the near future. The irony of the war in Iraq is Bush never got the Iraqi oil flowing and it's the enemy-the Arabs-who have benefited. The Saudis didn't knock the twin towers down for a laugh. Quite cute really.
But its tax, some 67% of every gallon we suck, that is killing the economy here. Brown can't cut that percentage as he's tax starved as it is, any move to pass some of the strain onto income tax finishing off his premiership as the election nears. Nope, he like we, have to wait this high oil price thing out and just cut our car journeys to cover the cost rise. One quarter of the world's crude is burnt in America from only 6% of the world's population and unless they go into recession quick, demand won't be falling off. But oil is in everything around us, everyday things that have to be made from oil by-products, and that's where the economy will creak.
With world demand always increasing, it doesn't matter how green we go, world war now inevitable as China, America and India will want half the world supply in just ten years. War with China is almost certain in the first half of this century and, unlike Iraq, China will shoot back from day one. All wars are ultimately about resources and the volatile religions of the day are the excuse and trigger. All those people who though oil would last another hundred years are so wrong. We have passed the 'Hubbert Curve' (peak oil availability to usage) and the world is heading to disaster fast. No electric cars or ethylene Toyota Prius`s being driven by Gwyneth Paltrow will save us now.
There maybe there is some silver lining on those polluting clouds though if we talk about green issues. After all the global warming hype of recent years the same scientists have had to swallow their pride and announce the planet has actually cooled so far this millennium, a period of twenty years of cooling down even being mentioned by the same red faced scientists, seduced by western governments lucrative grants to reinforce global heating hype so they could bring in erroneous green taxes so not to have to put up income tax anymore. If the planet is cooling then, according to their theory, the same excessive C02 levels that were supposed to cause warming must be causing the global cooling. The expensive computer model predictions, like Hawkeye in sport, haven't been accurate and just pure speculation, the world temps for 2007 not what they predicted in 1997. If the people tapping the numbers into the computer are the ones getting the million dollar grants then it's no surprise this happened. This could be a blip, of course, and we all expect temps to rise this century, but it does show we know little about this beautiful planet we live on that we are slowly wrecking through oil and carbon burning. I'm pretty sure there are no other planets this perfect anywhere near. We humans are an odd and violent bunch.
Claiiiree - err.... emissions got nothing to do with the price of fuel. The fact that three power stations in China has higher emissions than the whole of the UK, everything done here is irrelevant. - Yes, Aunt Marg can use her 2 seater to pop down to the shops without feeling guilty.