Oil Roundup

OIL ROUNDUP….What with the United States being addicted to oil and all, I figure it’s worthwhile to round up the latest oil news once in a while. Here’s today’s summary:

Nigeria: A Nigerian militant commander in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta has told the BBC his group is declaring “total war” on all foreign oil interests….It recently blew up two oil pipelines, held four foreign oil workers hostage and sabotaged two major oilfields.

Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned he could cut off oil exports to the United States if Washington goes “over the line” in what he has said are attempts to destabilize his left-leaning government….”Many countries ask us for more oil and we have had to tell many countries we can’t send them more” because Venezuela, the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, ships 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to the United States, he told supporters at the presidential palace.

Iran: China is hastening to complete a deal worth as much as $100 billion that would allow a Chinese state-owned energy firm to take a leading role in developing a vast oil field in Iran….The speed with which China and Iran are moving to conclude their agreement and begin development appears to signal China’s intent to limit the U.S.-led drive for sanctions against Iran to curb what Washington describes as Iran’s rogue effort to develop nuclear weapons.

In related news, longtime peak oil pessimist Ken Deffeyes is now even more pessimistic. He claims that predictions of the date of peak oil are no longer necessary: we passed the peak in December 2005 and it’s all downhill from here. I actually find his calculations fairly unconvincing, but a few years here or there aren’t really that important anyway. Whatever the real date is, we’re close enough to it that pretty much anyone with control over a million barrels of oil per day has a lot of leverage in world affairs. And there’s a disturbingly large number of people who have control over that amount of oil.