Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are They Really Oil Wars?

Ismael Hossein-zadeh: Are They Really Oil Wars?

A most widely-cited factor behind the recent U.S. wars of choice is said to be oil. “No Blood for Oil” has been a rallying cry for most of the opponents of the war. While some of these opponents argue that the war is driven by the U.S. desire for cheap oil, others claim that it is prompted by big oil’s wish for high oil prices and profits. Interestingly, most antiwar forces use both claims interchangeably without paying attention to the fact that they are diametrically-opposed assertions.

Not only do the two arguments contradict each other, but each argument is also wanting and unconvincing on its own grounds; not because the U.S. does not wish for cheap oil, or because Big Oil does not desire higher oil prices, but because war is no longer the way to control or gain access to energy resources. Colonial-type occupation or direct control of energy resources is no longer efficient or economical and has, therefore, been abandoned for more than four decades.

The view that recent U.S. military adventures in the Middle East and the broader Central Asia are driven by energy considerations is further reinforced by the dubious theory of Peak Oil, which maintains that world production of conventional oil will soon reach—if it has not already reached—a maximum, or peak, and decline thereafter. It follows that, therefore, war power and military strength are key to access or control of the stagnant, shrinking, or soon-to-be-shrinking oil.

In this study I will first argue that while, prima facie, Peak Oil sounds like a reasonable thesis, it is dubious on both theoretical and empirical grounds. I will then show that war and military force are no longer the necessary or appropriate means to gain access to sources of energy, and that resorting to military measures can, indeed, lead to costly, not cheap, oil. Next, I will demonstrate that, despite the lucrative spoils of war resulting from high oil prices and profits, Big Oil prefers peace and stability, not war and geopolitical turbulence, in global energy markets. Finally, I will argue a case that behind the drive to war and military adventures in the Middle East lie some powerful special interests (vested in war, militarism, and geopolitical concerns of Israel) that use oil as an issue of “national interest”—as a façade or pretext—in order to justify military adventures to derive high dividends, both economic and geopolitical, from war.


Anaconda said...


A persuasive case is made that oil companies are against military action in the Middle East.

And, frankly, most non-military transnational companies are against military adventurism.

Its bad for business.

The author misses one angle, though, the Abiotic Oil angle.

This website offers scientific evidence that oil is more plentiful than commonly thought.

When you take Abiotic Oil into consideration it makes "Peak" oil even more remote.

Anaconda said...


Everybody knows that California has oil & gas off it's coast. There are still oil derricks pumping that were "grandfathered" before the American ban on offshore drilling 27 years ago.

But it's widely assumed California is where all the West coast oil & gas deposits are located.

But is that true?

The Oil Is Mastery website and this writer have chronicled the scientific evidence connecting tectonic faults to oil & gas production. The association is striking and compelling.

There is a fault system that runs up the North American continental coast. This writer would like to focus on an area called the Blanco Transform Fault adjacent to the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast.

You may ask, "What suggests oil & gas deposits at that location?"

First, there have been earthquake swarms in that location. Earth quakes have been identified with oil & gas deposits as documented at the side-bar of this website. In Keith's paper, Peridotites, Serpentinization, and Hydrocarbons, part of his theory states: "Volume expansion during serpentinization of up to 8X causes diapiric doming and induces expulsion of hydrocarbon-stable brines."

Expansion eight times original volume causes increased pressure and displacement, as well as explusion. Earthquakes in California have caused oil seeps to appear.

A transform fault is where lateral or horizontal movement of opposing tectonic plates happen. "Most transform faults are found on the ocean floor, where they often offset active spreading ridges to form a zigzag plate boundary."


"Strain is both cumulative and instantaneous depending on the rheology of the rock; the ductile lower crust and mantle accumulates deformation gradually via shearing whereas the brittle upper crust reacts by fracture, or instantaneous stress release to cause motion along the fault.

Keith in his "Cracks of the World" discusses shear systems as important to hydrocarbon formation and notes: "The Mexico oxidation state map produced a striking zig-zag pattern." Keith discusses the mega Mexican shear system.

Shears increase mineralogical mixing, therefore, possibly accelerate hydrocarbon formation.

Transform faults can also be called strike/slip faults as is mentioned in the Keith's work and
Oil companies also acknowledge the important of this fault pattern, perhaps for different reasons, perhaps not.

Keith has also remarked that hydrothermal vents are markers of hydrocarbon deposits. Keith discusses "black smokers" as being vents that release high amounts of metals that are crucial, as they act as catalysts for the thermal-molecular bonding of hydrogen and carbon into hydrocarbons: "The hydrocarbon-charged plume continues to ascend through the basin where it may deposit oil and gas in appropriate stratigraphic and/or structural traps. Inevitably, the hydrothermal hydrocarbon-charged plume ‘exits’ the lithosphere as metalliferous, hydrocarbon enriched seep(s), which may become exhalatively incorporated in black shale orogenic basins above the deep-seated conduit system."

There are black smokers off the Oregon coast. One vent off the Oregon coast was called "Godzilla" because it was so tall -- as high as a 15 story building.

There are hundreds if not thousands of hydrothermal vents off the Oregon coast. More investigation needs to be done because the existence of these features was only discovered in 1977, although long theorized.

There are series of ridges that are impregnated with hydrothermal vents. Could these ridges also be impregnated with regenerating huge oil & gas deposits?

All the ingredients are present off the Oregon coast at the Blanco Transform Fault for large oil & gas deposits.

There is also a spot called the Blanco Depression that shares characteristic with depressions identified with oil deposits. Transorm faults have been identified with oil deposits off Sakhalin Island. In fact the linked paper gives a great over all discussion.

We already know Sakhalin Island is where some of the deepest successful oil drilling in the world is going on.

And the geological characteristcs are similar to off the Oregon coast, but there is a difference -- the Oregon coast is much more seismically active, which has been argued before is indicative of hydrocarbon formation.

Anti-plumes have also been found off the Oregon Cost where water is sucked into the geological feature. This suggests water is taken into the fault system. Water has been mentioned as an ingredient of hydrocarbon formation.

The evidence and indicators suggest large oil & gas deposits exist off the Oregon coast in the Blanco Transform Fault area, and by extension all through this tectonically active, hydrothermal vent generating system.

This area may be as active in hydrocarbon formation as California's offshore areas if not much more so, and to be provocative, this area may rival the Middle East in oil production and regeneration due to its tectonic seismic activity and active subduction zone, which as the linked article contends is central to the ongoing oil generation in the Middle East. Also this specific area, the Blanco Transform Fault may have the combination subduction/transform tectonic activity that the great oil field Ghawar has in Saudi Arabia.

Clearly, this area must be explored for the possibility of huge oil & gas deposits.

American energy independence may depend on it.

Oil exploration & production of oil & gas in American waters is vital to our national security interests.

Quantum_Flux said...

I hope the wars are about spreading democracy around because I'm sure it doesn't make ecconomic sense to be fighting wars for the express purpose of gaining access to oil reserves.

Anaconda said...

Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

"...In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together..." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a warrior and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

He led America to the greatest military victory in history.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was a man of peace, who had seen the carnage of war.

Some say his wise counsel to the American People is no longer relevant, even antiquated. This writer says his sage advice is relevant, now more than ever.

Beware of the Military-Industrial Complex.

And those who would misuse it.

Quantum_Flux said...

Perhaps the only reason for invading Iraq was to prevent the oil industry from switching over to the Euro as a money base.

Anaconda said...


The promise that will be kept:

"It is obvious that the total amount of petroleum in the rocks underlying the surface ... is large beyond computation." -- Edward Orton, 1888

A new scientific theory is presented by Stanley B. Keith and Monte M. Swan and Martin Hovland.

Entitled: The Serpentosphere

The Serpentosphere consists of an earth-wide nearly continuous layer (or spherical shell) of rock dominated by serpentine group minerals (serpentinite). The Serpentosphere is typically about two kilometers thick beneath ocean basins where it is mainly composed of lizardite. Beneath continents, the Serpentosphere is mainly composed of antigorite (alpine peridotite/serpentinite) and may be several kilometers thick. The base of the Serpentosphere coincides with the gravity and high-velocity seismically defined transition beneath both continents and ocean basins commonly referred to as the Moho. Beneath ocean basins and adjacent to spreading centers, oceanic Serpentosphere is continuously generated by the interactions of deep circulating marine composition water – partly in super-critical state –with harzburgitic peridotite in a process referred to as serpentinization. Conversion of the harzburgite to lizarditic serpentine under supercritical condition is texturally preservative and probably induces about 40% volume expansion. The volume expansion provides an excellent mechanism to expel and propel fluid products – including hydrocarbons – from the area of serpentinization to seep sites at the crust hydrosphere/atmosphere interface. A downward diffusing, super-critical serpentinization front is present beneath every ocean basin and is more active where it originally formed near oceanic ridge thermal anomalies. When ocean Serpentosphere is subducted beneath continental or oceanic crust areas, it converts to antigorite-dominated serpentinite rock (generally coincident with greenschist facies metamorphism). During flat subduction, the relatively lowdensity antigorite ‘floats’ and is underplated to the base of the continental crust at the Moho geophysical interface.

In effect, both oceanic and continental Serpentospheres reflect a deep ‘weathering’ process that consists of the interaction of deep crustal and oceanic, water-dominated fluids with the upper portion of a mainly harzburgitic peridotite at the top of the earth’s lithospheric mantle. The process is analogous to the formation of the pedosphere through interactions of the earth’s hydrosphere-atmosphere layer with the top of the earth’s lithospheric crustal layer. In this context, the Serpentosphere may be viewed as a thin membrane that separates water-absent, life-free abiogenetic processes in the mantle from water-present, life-related processes above the Serpentosphere in the oceanic crust.

The Serpentosphere has enormous and novel implications for four major geologic problems that are of current interest to the geologic and social community: the driving mechanism for plate tectonics, the origin of life, the origin of hydrocarbons, and contributions to global climate. A close relationship between trace elements in crude oils and serpentinite has been found. Migration of the serpentine-associated hydrocarbons to seep sites on the ocean floor and in subaqueous continental environments is essentially the base of the food chain for the biosphere and provides a nutrient and energy source for life in these environments. Heat, methane and carbon dioxide generated during the serpentinization reaction provide a major thermal and greenhouse effect to the earth’s hydrosphere-atmosphere system that is overlooked and underappreciated by the current global climate science. The ductility of the serpentine group minerals provides the tectonic “grease” that allows crustal plates to be able to slide and glide around on the earth’s crust at the Serpentosphere/Moho interface. Because Serpentosphere has been continuously generated since the beginning of geologic time it must be considered as one of the fundamental entities of our water-surfaced planet – the only water-planet we know of ...

Martin Hovland is associated with StatoilHydro, a Norwegian oil company.