August 17th, 2008


Eastern Europe Urges EU to End Ties With Russia

"We Told You So" is the refrain from Poland to Eastern Europe and the Ukraine. Former Soviet states are Russo-phobic and say the invasion of Georgia simply proves their point. They are now urging the rest of the EU and NATO to break off ties to Russia. They honestly believe that they'll be next, just like last time. Poland has accepted the treaty with the USA for emplacement of anti-missile (SDI) defense systems, something the Russians state makes them "100% first strike target". Strangely (that was sarcasm), threats by Russia against Poland has NOT caused the former Soviet states to calm their fears of the Russian Empire.

What does this mean to peak oil? It means there is now a HUGE incentive for the EU to learn to live without natural gas and Russian/Caspian oil. And they shouldn't count on Turkish pipeline oil either. So, will the EU step up to the reality of foreign oil and the dangers of buying from an avowed and aggressive enemy (Russia)? One would hope they will start with conservation and then engineer transit solutions which will work in the European climate.

So, now we have the USA invaded Iraq (and going bankrupt), the USSR Russians invading and threatening their former satellite states and invading to control Caspian Oil (I wonder how long before they Ethnic Cleanse Chechnya, invade the -istans, and seize control of all the Central Asian and Caspian oil supplies?). If there was good oil in Western Siberia, they'd have left Yukoil to drill that. Instead, they arrested the Yukoil CEO and seized the company (Hey, that sounds like Mexico in 1925!). But now nobody sane wants to invest in oil infrastructure in a grabby country like Russia, thus the sale of the Caspian oil drilling permits/shares by Shell, BP, and others. We've long suspected the Caspian Oil supply was highly inflated claims (alleged double and triple counting of the field), thus selling out and bailing on the project made sense. Now I'm wondering if the Russian govt demanded a bit too much and the Yukoil fallout is responsible for the current mess?

Perhaps the Russians had little choice by to seize control of the pipeline just to insure they'll be able to fund their expansionist goals, now that they've made the West very suspicious of investing there. Of course, invasions to control resources aren't going to fly very well for investors either. This invasion will probably put a serious damper on further Western investment in the Russian economy. Bad for the public, bad for business. Bad for Russian goals in the short and long term. You'd think that people who play as much chess as the Russians wouldn't make these kind of knee-jerk mistakes. I wonder if perhaps the short term gain of control of the only intact pipeline will enable them to develop those Siberian fields. I guess we'll see. Meantime, we should all be thinking about the potential threat to market volatility when the Russians start playing with the pipeline like a spoiled 4 year old toying with the kitchen faucet.

Now, will India and China invade some oil resource area since the other big boys have done so? May as well. There's not much moral superiority we in the USA can stand on (Iraq). Ahem.

What do you think? Western analysts like the Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, SF Chronicle and even the CS Monitor have taken positions very similar to my own. I expect there are quite a few news organizations very suspicious of the Russian claims and highly doubtful, given their prior history of invasions (Hungary, Finland, Chechnya, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Bosnia (invaded by Serbs, another "home rule" ethnic Russian colony)), the Russian Empire looks more and more wicked. We'd best learn how to get along without Russian gas and oil. They're going to do their worst to us.