Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"No War for Oil" Needed - Thanks to Fracking

For years here, I have been praising the concept of energy independence for the United States (see, e.g. Energy Wars: Fracking Our Way Ahead):
It's interesting that people who have previously argued that we should not fight "wars for oil" in our own national interest are willing (1) to commit our national forces and dollars to possibly fighting "wars for oil" for the interests of other countries and (2) that people who who are opposed to U.S. fracking on environmental grounds seem to be totally okay with the status quo of pushing environmental damage off to those second and third world countries who are resource rich but not in the protesters back yards - and condemning others in the world to be dependent on the whims of leaders in Russia and other undemocratic countries.
It also behooves Europe and Japan that the U.S., Canada and Mexico develop LNG export facilities to allow the export of natural gas to offset the Russian and Iranian power in using the "oil and gas weapon" against Europe.

The U.S. government should be encouraging U.S. companies to help Poland to explore its shale gas reserves as an offset to the Russians. While the estimated levels of Polish shale gas are fluctuating, there is gas there and it is both Polish and European interests to develop it.

It's not just the U.S. that has the potential to be "sitting pretty" as a result of the the shale boom.
You don't want to fight Iran for attacking Saudi Arabia?

Fine, continue to use the our oil and gas production to continue to inflict economic damage on the Iranians - our crude and NG is perfectly fungible for what Iran produces. The world will little note nor long remember what Iran and its surrogates are trying to do by disrupting the energy flow from the Arabian Gulf. Iran has gone to this well before, but this time the world has moved on from total reliance on Middle East oil and gas. The U.S. can be entirely energy independent of the Middle East.

In fact, it occurs to me that without the infusion of cash from the Obama Administration's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran, Iran would be soon be running on empty.

It is also worth noting that due to the wonders of its socialist dictatorship, Venezuela's oil production is not really a factor in the world market right now. If that situation could be reversed, the importance of Middle East energy supplies diminishes even further.

We just need to ride this out.

Oh, and build more nuclear power plants.

In the meantime, it seems demand for product is on a downward trend:

Friday, August 30, 2019

Gulf of Guinea Piracy: Nigeria Reaches Out to Japan for Help

Report that Nigeria's leader has asked Japan for assistance in fighting piracy and illegal fishing in the Gulf of Guinea here:
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Yokohama, Japan, sought the support of the Japanese government in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as well as illegal fishing in that region.

The President made the request during a bilateral meeting between the Nigerian delegation and Japanese officials led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Might get interesting if Japan helps out fighting the far seas Chinese fishing criminals.

An oil rich country of over 200 million should be willing to spend money on an adequate Coast Guard or Navy to patrol its own waters, vital sea lanes, and to join in regional operations with its neighbors to cut down on local thuggery and the foreign fishing fleets that are troubling western Africa. To be fair, Nigeria has recently added to its fleet Nigerian Navy commissions new vessels
The Nigerian Navy has commissioned into service 16 new vessels, including ten small boats and six patrol vessels, which will be used to enhance maritime security and protect the country’s oil and gas assets. It has also revealed that more vessels are on the way.
The vessels included the NNS Ekulu and NNS Nguru, two FPB 110
patrol boats delivered earlier this year by France’s Ocea. These 35 metre vessels were ordered in February 2017 and are to be equipped with two 12.7 mm and one 20 mm cannon each. Nigeria has also ordered five FPB 72s from Ocea, with the NNS Gongola and NNS Calabar delivered in January this year, after the NNS Shiroro and NNS Ose arrived in 2017. These four vessels were also commissioned on 3 September.

It is not clear what type of small boats were commissioned but it is likely they are 9.5 metre Guardian fast patrol boats built by Paramount Maritime. In November 2017 the Nigerian Navy accepted four of the type out of an order for 14 – the other ten, which are 8.5 metre long variants, were to be delivered progressively.

The Nigerian Navy has also taken delivery of a number of 8.2 metre long boats built by Nigerian company Epenal, with around 60 been delivered over the last year.
Whatever these additions, it needs more to allow it to be more assertive in protecting it home waters and its EEZ.

According to this, Nigeria's economy is about the same as the U.S. state of Ohio, which has only about 12 million residents. One problem is, of course, a certain level of corruption which diverts public monies into private hands. According to Transparency International, though, Nigeria is only the 144th most corrupt country out of 180 countries, which means it could be worse, I suppose.
It's not like the corruption in resource rich Russia or Venezuela, is it? If you are wondering, Somalia is #1 in corruption (180 out of 180).

Friday Films - Labor Day Selection

First a pre-US involvement in WWII cartoon of Army life:

How about a reminder that the Soviet Union (Russia) not only invaded Poland along with the Nazis, but took on the Finns in 1939:

A bit of Wyoming from 1947:

And a little look at the U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam: