Thursday, 8 December 2011

Our world is safer thanks to shale gas find. Energy independence for China and the US.

The US is re-approaching energy self-sufficiency thanks to gas and oil from the Bakken, Haynes and Marcellus shales. It may even export a surplus.
Now China may also reach energy independence. This week PetroChina and Shell report finding major supplies of shale gas in Sichuan province. This bring China's reserves to 1275 trillion cubic feet by US estimates.  Test wells are working. Picture on the right shows Chinese investment in Sichuan.

The world is safer .
The mighty won't be held for ransom over energy.
Some of the reasons for having military adventures and bases in foreign lands will disappear.
Self-sufficiency will defuse war flashpoints that oil must pass through.  Think of Arab oil coming out of the Hormuz strait, under the bellicose posturings of Iran and think of the narrow strait of Malacca off Singapore that China relies on.  What if it didn't  matter much what the corrupted mullahs are up to in the Persian Gulf?

As Walter Russell Mead says, "Vast reserves of energy resources at home make armed conflict over resources abroad far less likely." 

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