Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Syriana and oil

I watched the film Syriana last night which stars George Clooney and Matt Damon. While the storyline in the film was fictional, it did have a serious message behind it and about the reliance we have as consumers on oil. The film overall painted a picture of the power of the oil companies in the world and the money there is to be made from oil.

With the supply of oil as buyont as ever along with the increasing demand from developing countries including China, it is clear that demand shows no sign of decreasing. The film details the volatility of the Middle East where 80% of the world supply comes from, this will only increase as supplies in the west diminish. With many regimes pretty unstable in the Middle East and governments that play lip service to democracy, the potential of the world to be held to ransom increases greatly.

In terms of future energy needs, the energy review that the Government is undertaking is essential, given that as a country we will run dry of North Sea oil in the next 15 years and we will also have to import more gas and oil. This has the potential to massively increase energy costs in this country unless we look into alternatives now and increase our reliance on unstable countries within the world.

I believe the Government is right to pursue nuclear energy as an alternative as this is a cheap source of energy in the longer term, while worries exist since Chernobyl, the record of these stations is pretty good and France produces 80% of energy needs from nuclear power. Other renewable like wind turbines, solar also need to be examined.

Likewise, in the longer term we will also have to move away from petrol guzzling cars and pursue alternatives, while technology has come on worldwide in leaps and bounds over the last twenty years, a need does exist to develop further alternative energy vehicles which have the same performance as existing cars but do not need petrol. A hard task but when you consider the advances in technology globally is more then achievable.


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