Arab despots, leaders who normally would have ended up on the dunghill of history, have maintained their status through petrodollars. The American left, by resolutely putting the kibosh on potential alternative fuel sources (ANWR and nuclear are the ones that spring to mind), have ensured that are money keeps flowing into the pockets of leaders who are doing everything they can to destroy us. (Apparently their mothers never read them Aesop’s fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs.)
In any event, there is now some evidence that the world’s oil fortunes may not be tied to Muslim lands. Scientists have concluded that East Africa may hold significant oil reserves:
EXPERTS ARE expecting big oil discoveries in East Africa that could significantly alter the region’s economic fortunes.
Results of recent geological surveys suggest that East Africa may soon become one of the world’s hottest oil exploration zones, with data analysed last year by Jebco Seismic, a UK-based geophysical contractor, showing major oil deposits off the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.
In addition, the same rock formations now yielding large quantities of oil in Sudan are known to stretch into Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, says Jebco marketing director Chris Machette-Downs.
“It is an unusual system, both geologically and in terms of the quality of some of the oil. Some sites in Sudan have generated oil you could pour straight into your Jeep,” said Mr Machette-Downs.
Kenya, for instance, has been agog with talks of oil prospects leading to a series of exploration expeditions, especially at the coastal strip.
An official at Kenya’s Ministry of Energy, Wangari Githii, last week told The EastAfrican that the data obtained from the Kenyan offshore by Woodside Energy company is being interpreted in Australia with the hope that “we will strike oil.”
Earlier surveys done by the US Department of the Interior found that the Kenyan coastal strip has the potential of producing about 100 million barrels of crude oil and over 600 million cubic feet of natural gas.
The same sentiments are held in Tanzania, where the Commissioner for Energy, Petroleum and Gas in the Ministry of Minerals and Energy, Basil Mrindoko last week told The EastAfrican, “The search for oil continues–We have yet to confirm that we have oil, but the presence of natural gas as a hydrocarbon was an early sign that there is hope,” he said.
So far as I know, none of these are predominantly Muslim nations. I don’t doubt that there will be significant problems if oil is found in these countries, since I suspect that the wealth will once again collect at the top, with very little trickle down benefit for the masses, but significant oil reserves in East Africa might serve to dry up the money for governments that use their wealth to undermine Western democracies (as Saudi Arabia does, for example, by funding hate-filled schools all over the world).
UPDATE: I was rechecking the original news story from which I quoted, above, and discovered that it’s two years old. The East African paper I linked to — which I found through Power Line News — apparently stopped publishing a couple of years ago, a fact I missed on the first go-round. The next intriguing question is whether anything has been done in the last two years to exploit these potential oil reserves? It would certainly change the balance of economic power and the flow of money in the world if pipelines would soon open up in East Africa, at least temporarily relieving us of the burden of sending money to the Arabian Peninsula and Venezuela.
UPDATE II: I decided to take a few minutes and see if I could answer my question: what’s been going on with East African oil in the last couple of years? First off, there is oil production in Africa. A year ago, National Geographic wrote an article that focused on the tensions in Chad between the oil companies and the citizens. As usual there are complaints that the oil companies are taking too much money (although no one seems to complain about the fact that it is they who invest their money and take the risks). The Chad wells were producing a year ago about 200,000 barrels per day.
There is also enough going on in East Africa on the oil and gas front for it a ritzy looking web publication, einnews.com, a service for global professionals, to devote a corner of its website to East African oil and gas.
Only this month, an article came out saying that Uganda is poised to become one of the major oil-producing nations:
It is no longer a secret. Uganda is set to become an oil producing country in a few years to come. Hardman Resources, an Australian drilling company working in conjunction with Tullow oil from the United Kingdom has confirmed that Uganda has the capacity to produce oil to a tune of 10 000 barrels per day.
Reuben Kashambuzi, the Commissioner for Petroleum Exploration and Production Department at Entebbe, says that four companies have been licensed by government to drill and prospect for oil. They were Neptune Petroleum (Rhino camp basin), Heritage Oil and Gas Limited (Pakwach basin and Semliki basin) and Hardman Resources Limited and Energy Africa (Lake Albert basin).
According to Aloys Tegera, the manager of the Pole Institute, Africa was becoming increasingly interesting for the global oil industry.
The confirmation of oil in mid western Uganda puts the country with Nigeria, Angola, and Chad among the latest black African countries to join the oil producing countries of the world. World consumption of oil products was projected to rise from around 70 million barrels per day to 120 million by 2030 – a rise of 55 percent.
While two thirds of known global oil reserves were in the Middle East, production there would have to be doubled to satisfy the rise in demand, and this would increase global dependence on that part of the world to a politically unacceptable level. Thus the major international oil companies were currently engaged in finding new sources of oil.
Here, Africa was in the forefront. Currently, the continent provides slightly over 11 percent of world oil production, 14.3 percent of US oil imports and 23.1 percent of Western Europe’s, according to British Petroleum figures for 2002. US imports were due to rise substantially, and US experts estimate that Africa would provide a quarter of US oil imports by 2025.