Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Iran And Oil

One of the things that surprised me yesterday is that very few of the peak oil alarmists, of which I am one, really latched on to Roger Stern's report on the state of Iran's oil infrastructure. According to Stern, the world's fifth largest oil exporter will cease to be an exporter within the next ten years due to oil field degradation and increased domestic usage. Much of the coverage looked at the national security angle of the report, but the fact is that this would cause almost a billion barrels of oil a year off the market.

For that reason, I think the peak oil angle is at least as important. In fact, I think they are tied together for two reasons. The former has to do with our economy, the latter has to do with theirs.

First of all, we have to ask ourselves is it more important to stop Iran from becoming a state with nuclear power than the rest of the world paying for oil in the $120-$150 a barrel range? Secondly, is an Iran with nuclear power more or less dangerous than an Iran with no viable economy?

These are tough questions to answer, no doubt. And of course I'm talking about nuclear energy, not weapons. That certainly changes the equation.

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