Monday, July 21, 2008

Abiotic FSB Petrostate

Marshall Goldman's new book Petrostate: How Russia strives to dominate oil.

For anyone with knowledge of economic warfare, the opening scene in Marshall I. Goldman's new book evokes a shudder. Russian hosts take him into a darkened room that is the "brain center" of Gazprom, the world's largest producer of natural gas, in an office building high above Moscow.

"In front of me," Mr. Goldman writes, "covering the whole 100-foot wall of the room, was a map with a spiderweblike maze of natural gas pipelines reaching from East Siberia west to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean south to the Caspian and Black seas. Manipulating this display were Gazprom dispatchers, three men controlling the flow of Gazprom's gas to East and West European consumers of this Russian natural gas monopoly . . . . "

With a flick of switch, these dispatchers sitting in this Moscow room could freeze - and have frozen - entire countries. At the very least, they could send their citizens off in a panic in search of sweaters, scarves and gloves. What an empowering feeling. Should they choose to, these Gazprom functionaries could not only cut off natural gas from the furnaces and stoves of Germany's houses but also the natural gas that many German factories need for manufacturing a range of products from ammonia fertilizer to plastics.

Now, to be sure, as Gazprom officers told Mr. Goldman for his book, "Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia," "politics never, ever affect their calculations." Sure, and your check is in the mail. The first week in July, Russia sharply curtailed oil exports to the Czech Republic in apparent retaliation for that country's agreement to host a radar facility associated with a U.S. anti-missile system.

Mr. Goldman, professor emeritus at Wellesley College, and long associated with the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard, speaks with authority. He has advised U.S. presidents and the CIA on Soviet and Russian affairs. "Petrostate" documents how President Vladimir Putin used petroleum riches to bring Russia back from near-bankruptcy in 1998 to its current strength in world economic affairs.

As he summarizes, the book "is a tale of discovery, intrigue, corruption, wealth, misguidance, greed, patronage, nepotism, and power . . . a little something for everyone." As I read of how Mr. Putin's cronies muscled aside competitors to take control of formerly state-owned oil companies, the thought flickered through my mind, "John D. Rockefeller meet Tony Soprano." ...

One ominous sign is that many of the jokes formerly told about Soviet leaders now target Mr. Putin. In one, Stalin comes to Mr. Putin in a dream and says, "Vladimir, I have two bits of advice for you: kill your opponents, and paint the Kremlin blue."

Mr. Putin ponders a moment, then asks, "Why blue?"


Quantum_Flux said...

Well, the oil business is risky no matter how many resources are in possession at the time that the particular risk is being taken. There are always large uncertainties, and thereby ecconomic, political, and time/energy losses are involved. Perhaps we in the US should watch Russia carefully and find out the results of their Abiotic FSB Petrostate operations. If abiotic theory works economically in and around Russia, then the theory ought to work anywhere.

OilIsMastery said...

Abiotic theory works but Americans don't know it because (a) they still think oil comes from dinosaurs and (b) drilling is illegal on over 10,000 miles of US coastline.

Quantum_Flux said...

Does Russia have any oil companies that drill for oil based on biotic theory though!?

Anaconda said...

There is some dispute about how much or whether "fossil" theory is used in Russia.

"Peak" oil pushers with an agenda to maintain the constraints of "fossil" theory will tell you only a minority of Russians use abiotic theory -- but that seems unlikely -- as it was the "state" supported theory, and because of the unquestioned success the Russians have had with Abiotic theory.

Laymen don't really know how much "fossil" theory is used in Russia at this point because, while early after the fall of the Soviet state Russia's oil industry was quite open and told Westerners of Abiotic Oil Theory and it's success, now, Russia is more closed about what their oil & gas industry is up to.

Conspiracy theories abound.

Some believe the Western oil companies "reached" the Russians by explaining "it's better to have the general public not know the true source of oil -- better to believe its a scarce commodity."

Some believe that what the Western oil majors really wanted was the drilling technology the Russians had developed to execute Abiotic Principles.

Both these two "conspiracy" theories accuse the Western oil companies of "knowing" the reality of Abiotic Oil, but withholding the knowledge.

Others claim that Western Oil companies "educated" Russians that "fossil" theory was the correct theory so that "fossil" theory is making a comback in Russia.

Some believe that each side -- West and East hold to their own respective theories -- in essence "agreeing to disagree" while working together on projects, but as the book review cited in this post points out, partnerships are getting rarer.

It could be that with each side going their respective ways, each is maintaining what they believe.

I myself don't know what to believe. It seems absolutely impossible that any man of science could review the body of science concerning oil's origin and come away believing anything, but that Oil is an abiotic mineral.

Several "practices" of recent adoption by Western oil companies suggest Abiotic Principles are being used "by another name."

Exxon announced this year that they would concentrate on increasing productivity of existing assets -- fine, but the most obvious tactic is to drill deeper -- this is an explicit Abiotic principle.

Also, the oil majors and others are investing money in drilling rig contracts for ultra-deepwater, deep-drilling ships/rigs.

Much of the petroleum that is the target of this investment in technology is "only there in deepwater" if Abiotic theory is correct.

Otherwise, many people have wasted a huge amount of money on technology to drill for deep oil that doesn't exist.

How likely is that?

So, getting back to your question.

It kinda gets down to: "who do you believe?"

Anaconda said...


"Never maltreat an enemy by halves": such was the sage advice of Prussia's warrior King Frederick the Great, who instinctively saw the folly of half measures in dealing with a formidable foe. The only statesmanlike alternatives were, to win his friendship by generous treatment, or to crush him to the earth so that he could not rise to deal another blow.

Russia is not an enemy, rival and competitor, yes -- enemy, no.

So, if Russia is not an enemy, how much more should we avoid half measures that only serve to confuse and alienate a country, Russia, that can be a constructive actor on the world stage?

Now does that mean the the other countries of the West -- our goal with Russia should be to incorporate Russia into the Western framework -- should let Russia continue it's petroleum dominance?


The best way to avoid Russia's petroleum dominance is to increase oil & gas production in other countries, preferably the United States and Western Europe.

But there are other forward thinking countries like Brazil who want a balanced economy and steady growth which are produced with "reasonable" oil prices and abundant supply.

To the extent that environmentalists and others restrict oil exploration and production in the United States, that in turn gives more power to Russia and the OPEC countries.

There is absolutely no reason for ceding power to Russia by failing to produce oil & gas ourselves.

I don't want to see Western Europe in a position to be susceptible to political or economic blackmail by Russia through their petroleum clout -- and if Russia doesn't sense "natural gas can be used as a weapon" as a viable option they won't use it.

Again, the best way to avoid that senario is not to engage in confrontation, but to increase supplies that diminish Russia's dominance of oil & gas -- particularly gas, as this posted article states.

My solution is easily achievable if Western governments are amenable, particularly the United States.

It's in the United States national security interests to increase domestic production of oil & gas.

And world supplies as well.

And there is an added benefit -- Russia can hardly object to the United States and its Western partners increasing their oil & gas independence.

Russia can be a friend to the West and be a part of the West, but only if the West sends a clear signal they won't allow Russia to "monopolize" the natural gas supply to Western Europe.

After all, if you voluntarily allow one supplier of natural gas to dominate the market in Western Europe -- don't expect that sole supplier to "respect you in the morning."

Countries, as do individual people, only respect other countries or people, who respect themselves enough to take care of themselves.

In no way should Western Europe, the United States, and Japan for that matter, encourage Russia to take up old habits of intimidation in any fashion or guise.

Oil & gas for peaceful cooperation and growth is a good thing.

Oil & gas for economic blackmail is bad and if the Western Powers are smart: Totally unnecessary.

It's the policy of Western Europe that can influence Russia for the good of both parties.

Not vice versa, if Western Europe and the United States increase production of oil & gas.

Our future international relations with a great power, Russia, are in our own hands.

Are we up to the challenge?

Quantum_Flux said...

Hmmmmm .... Mars 96, Phobos I&II, Mars 2-7, Kosmos 419, Zond 2 .... if they run their oil anything like they run their space program they will never have the economical equivalent of "hitting mars" or Jupiter, or even the moon for that matter.

But if they are on par with abiotic theory, as I suspect they must be, then everything that you are saying is perfectly correct [anaconda].

Quantum_Flux said...

I do sometimes wonder if the US and Russia worked together on their space programs instead of keeping secrets, if we would be mining the Moon for d-3He fusion energy already.

Anaconda said...

To Quantum Flux:
You have a good point. Russia has a mixed record of technological achievemnet, but remember, Russia put a satellite in space first and a man in space first.

Ancient history I know, but there it is. Russia also has a fine record in mathematics, chemistry and physics.

And the above three disciplines are how Russia nailed down Abiotic Theory. Although, Jack F. Kenney acknowledges that initially it was a "non-science" geological perspective based on observations and then persuasive reasoning that lead Nikolai Kudryavtsev in 1951 to publically promulgate the modern Ukranian-Russian abiotic theory.

Getting back to your point: The Russians have the theory and onshore based technology for ultra-deep drilling.

What the Americans have is the deepwater, ultra-deep drilling technology -- and that's where the "action" is going to be in the next twenty years.

The Gulf of Mexico is valuble oil territory, but in the big scheme of things has been the "wading pool" for the American oil industry to learn the ropes and develop technology.

America is ready for "blue ocean" deepwater deep-drilling.

Anaconda said...

I have to follow up with this comment: I've reviewed your blog, The Irrational Theorist, so I know you're a math guy, so I've wondered why you didn't zero in on the math that supports Abiotic Theory as demonstrated in Jack F. Kenney's scientific paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.),
The Evolution of Multicomponent Systems at High Pressures: VI. The Thermodynamic Stability of the Hydrogen–carbon System: The Genesis of Hydrocarbons and the Origin of Petroleum?

After all, Abiotic Theory is completely supported by the laws of chemistry and physics as expressed by mathematical equations, while "fossil" theory has NO supporting underpinning in chemistry and physics as expressed in mathematical equations.

I'm glad you are coming around, and you have been moving that direction for a while, but, again, I always wondered why a math guy like you never focussed in on the math?

Is it the fact that even you, someone who expressly holds that man's mind shouldn't be controlled by well worn dogma, have been influenced by the well worn dogma regarding "fossil" theory?

If so -- doesn't it prove your own point that mankind can be dominated by thoughts that have no basis in reality?

"Repeat the lie often enough, and the lie becomes the truth."

Quantum_Flux said...

I just didn't know where to look. Thank you, I'll take a look at that.

Anaconda said...

I appreciate your "taking a look at that."

While your at it, take a look at Jack F. Kenney's Gas Resouces Corporation, because that's the foundation of scientific support in America on Abiotic Theory.

An interesting section of the website is a series of essays listed under Political and Sociological Essays. One in particular is Conitive Processes and the Suppression of Sound Scientific Ideas which gives a list of scientific ideas that were denied by "the scientific community," but were later proved without doubt correct. The list will surprise you.

Jack F. Kenney's Gas Resouces Corporation, is the "bible" of Abiotic Oil.

I know you don't like bibles, but I just couldn't resist it :-)