Israel as the next world oil superpowerJune 23, 2011
I read an article the other day by a fellow named Lawrence Solomon about the oil shale deposits in Israel. The Shfela basin, west of Jerusalem, is estimated to contain 250 billion barrels of oil…Saudi Arabia is estimated to have reserves of 260 billion barrels.
It’s tied up in oil shale, but by using a new process using heated rods driven into the shale, only 25 square kilometers will be required for the oil field, with minimal environmental damage. The process was developed by Harold Vinegar, who used to be Shell Oil’s chief scientist.
This is a game-changer. The primary reason for the Western nations to play nice with the Arab states has been because they needed the oil – Europe far more than the US. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Otherwise, no one would bargain with a group such as OPEC. Now there might be a new major player in the oil business in the Middle East.
On the one hand, I think this is wonderful. A stable government with deep oil reserves anywhere in the world should be a positive thing. But…
What’s the reaction of all these new reactionary governments that are growing right now in the Middle East when Israel starts shipping oil? I don’t see Syria, Libya, Egypt, or Allah forbid, a mob-ruled Saudi Arabia standing for that as long as they have militaries. They already hate Israel on general principles. If they become a competitor for the only real source of income of those countries, Israel becomes more than an irritant – it becomes a real economic threat.
I hope the “foreign policy aides” to the Republican candidates are studying this, because at best one of them will have to advise a new President on how to handle a new, hot war in the eastern Mediterranean.