The “oil war” with Russia: the “shale revolution” in the United States came to an end

In parallel with the well-known trade confrontation with China, the United States today is conducting more and more intense “hostilities” on the other front - the energy one. Here, it smells no longer of a "local conflict", albeit with one of the most powerful powers on the planet, but a real world war. What does the “front” of this war look like and what are the chances of the USA winning? Let's figure it out.




First of all, the main factor that allows the United States to seriously count on taking the world oil market under its almost sole control is the accelerated build-up of its own export potential. According to the International Energy Agency, Washington intends to increasingly “flood” the markets with its “black gold” for at least the next five years. According to the forecasts of the organization’s analysts, with current trends, its daily production in the US by 2024 can grow to 19,6 million barrels per day (last year this indicator was 15,5 million). These are the more than 4 million barrels that the Americans intend to send for export. If this happens, the States, having overtaken the current market leaders - Russia and Saudi Arabia, will be able to dictate prices and terms of delivery to the whole world.

As a matter of fact, in such a variant there is nothing fundamentally new. Let us not forget that in the twentieth century this was exactly the case, right up to the 70s of his years. At that time, the Americans pumped 11,3 million barrels of oil a day from their bowels, which was the highest rate in the world. However, in 1973, OPEC, in revenge for the "Doomsday War", created a world-wide energy crisis that hit Americans so hard that in 1975, then-US President Gerald Ford imposed a complete ban on any export of "black gold" outside the United States . After a very short time, as a result of a sharp increase in production by Saudi Arabia (from the Americans), world oil prices fell, as they say, “below the plinth” and trading it for the United States was simply unprofitable. In addition, they decided to save their hydrocarbon reserves in Washington "on a rainy day", having estimated that it is more profitable to import them so far.

This went on for 40 years - until the so-called “shale revolution” broke out. We will talk about its extremely doubtful essence, however, an objective fact is that the volume of oil production in the United States since about 2002 has increased so much that in 2015 Barack Obama lifted all and all restrictions on its export from the country. However, the oil expansion of the United States began only with the advent of his successor, Donald Trump. This one immediately declared: “I’ll break all the barriers to the development of the domestic oil industry!” And he began to break ... What, what, and Donald knows how to do it. Note that almost the first thing he did in one fell swoop was the ban on offshore drilling, introduced, incidentally, by his very predecessor, which allowed export. The reasons for Obama’s decision were utilitarian through and through - any serious mistake in the development of oil formations in offshore and oceanic shelves could turn into an environmental disaster on a regional, or even planetary, scale.

Obama was not driven by abstract love of nature, but a concrete accident on the Deepwater Horizon production platform, after which 75 thousand kilometers of the Gulf of Mexico were polluted by 5 million barrels of oil converted from “black gold”. into the killer of all living things. Not so, however, Trump, living and acting on the principle: “After us - at least a flood!” With his easy hand, American oil workers can now drill wells and set up towers anywhere: even in the Pacific Ocean, even in the Atlantic, and even in the Arctic - if someone lets them go there, of course. Another question is where to put all this breakthrough of oil later. And here we come to the evidence that the United States is determined to clear the market of "black gold" from all any significant competitors, having seized, besides, the maximum amount of oil resources outside its own territory. And this is a war ...

“Fronts” on it, relatively speaking, Washington sees three for itself. The first and main enemy is, of course, Russia. Here, in fact, there is no need to prove anything - and motivation and methods of action, as they say, are obvious. The overwhelming majority of American sanctions and restrictions are aimed precisely at impairing the energy sector as painfully as possible. economics Of Russia. They are declared either “for the Crimea”, then “for the Skripals”, or even “for interference in the elections”. And they hit on target - at Rosneft and Gazprom. Is it their managers that the retired spy was poisoned (especially when you consider that no one poisoned him at all)? It is perfectly clear that no matter how absurd pretexts are made up in Washington, the goal here is the same - to block our country to the maximum both the possibilities of technological development of energy production and the prospects for exporting such. One gets the impression that for Nord Stream 2 Trump is ready to give the order to bomb Berlin! It will become ...

The next “front” is, of course, OPEC. Here Washington is not risking breaking through - the memory of the nearly “oil famine” of the 70s of the last century in the Americans has not yet disappeared. So far, Trump is writing formidable tweets, urging the cartel to immediately and, moreover, immediately “lower oil prices”. Moreover, it pressures, as far as possible, on Saudi Arabia (which, as a matter of fact, dominates this organization) through diplomatic means, blackmailing with arms deliveries and the like. However, in this case, we are most likely dealing with a classic example of a scythe found on a stone. At present, Riyadh "holds proud contempt" for Washington’s efforts, continuing to slowly but steadily reduce oil production, even not delivering nearly 700 barrels of oil a day, even at the current request, thereby pushing the price of these barrels up - higher and higher. The price of the so-called “OPEC oil basket” is increasing, not decreasing.

And the explanation here is elementary - Saudi Arabia simply has nowhere to retreat. The royal house, ruling in this richest country in the Middle East, does not even need the current price of oil, but the cost of a barrel of 80-85 dollars. Otherwise, the whole budget will fly to hell with its luxurious expenditure of almost 300 billion dollars. There will be no payments to citizens who are accustomed to constant “freebies”, there will be no modernization and restructuring of the economy, which today depends on petrodollars almost completely ... But this is not far from the next “Arab spring”! Already to arrange it in order to establish a “democratic” regime more loyal to Washington, the American “partners” will not slow down - give only Riyadh slack. Today, in the "third oil" Saudi Arabia is an ally and ally of Russia. She, like our country, needs to prevent the United States from dropping world energy prices in order to “clear the clearing” for itself. The Saudis need expensive oil and at least a relatively honest market, not controlled from Washington. Let it be for now. What will happen next - see.

The third direction of the “oil strike” of the United States is knocking out of the market, subjugating or even capturing those countries that possess world-wide reserves of “black gold”, and at the same time are completely unwilling to dance to the American tune. It is, first of all, of course, about Iran and Venezuela. The United States is as stubborn as it is unreasonably trying to crush the first country with sanctions. Of course, they would have checked the same number with Tehran, which, in due time, with Baghdad - yes they understand that it will not work. The countries, although neighboring, related, are painfully different. New “Desert Storm” or “Shock and Awe” will definitely cost, let's say, a little expensive. Times are not the same and the enemy is completely different. Therefore, so far the Americans have limited themselves to using the tactics of slow strangulation of the state, which has so badly turned out to be the master of too much oil. As it became known, Donald Trump has already notified Congress that he is extending the entire range of sanctions against Tehran for another year.

Washington forced the rapprochement of the country with Russia and China to force events in Venezuela. The United States felt that the largest (at least potentially) oil tank in the world could literally slip under their nose. Judging by the current events (yes, at least, by the identity of the American fosterling Guaido), taking the country under control has been planned for quite some time. They just decided to speed up the process. The most interesting thing is that at the moment, the United States suffers serious losses from the chaos and mess they have created in Venezuela - and this is precisely in the field of oil supplies. According to some reports, it comes to a terrible one - an increase in the volume of purchases of Russian energy carriers. Nevertheless, it seems that Washington is ready to put up with minor tactical failures for the sake of the coming strategic victory and does not intend to let Venezuela out of its greedy mouth. So, by supporting the legitimate president of the country, Nicolas Maduro, and holding back the ambitions of the Americans, Moscow not only fulfills its allied duty in the war against a common enemy, but also defends its own global interests.

What could result in the United States achieving its goal of adding energy dominance to the financial dominance of the global economy due to the total dollarization of the world economy? It is clear that there is nothing good - in any case, for Russia and its allies. Washington is quite happy with cheap oil, and if it occupies a leading position in the energy markets, they will make every effort to collapse their prices, if not destroy them, then weaken our economy as much as possible. Well, and what the United States dictates are fraught with in any field, I think there is no need to explain.

Well, and finally, the main question: is it realistic for the United States to crush the world oil market for itself? The answer here must be sought in two directions. First of all, it must be remembered that American oil companies are almost completely obliged to extract shale oil as an “export breakthrough”. But with it just far from everything is so simple and simple. Some serious economists generally consider the “shale revolution” the greatest scam of the century. This type of oil production is not only harmful to nature, but also very costly (although due to technological progress the profitability of “shale” energy carriers is constantly growing), the developed fields are extremely short-lived. How much does the US have a "crush"? Should we expect the “second shale revolution” predicted by the IEA or, conversely, the colossal collapse of this industry - which also has many prophecies?

The fact that the second option is perhaps more likely is evidenced, in particular, by Washington’s desire to control as many deposits as possible, where “black gold” can be mined in completely traditional ways. An example is again Venezuela. Judging by this, the Americans are not so sure of their own “inexhaustible” shale reserves. Be that as it may, the traditionally aggressive and irresponsible actions of the United States in the world oil “war” unleashed by them are quite capable of provoking not only economic conflicts with hard-to-predict outcomes, but also the most real fighting. The United States does not like to lose, but they simply don’t know how to conduct a fair fight.
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  1. Bakht Offline Bakht
    Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 13 March 2019 08: 40
    +2
    Inaccuracy in the article. Oil production in the USA in 2018 amounted to 10,9 million barrels per day. According to the forecasts of the Energy Agency, the maximum production in 2021 is planned at 12,5 million barrels per day. There is no question of any 14 or even 19 million per day.
    https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/production/
    Trump can scream as much as he wants. To date, the profitability of oil shale (in general, and not in individual sections) is 60-65 dollars per barrel. So you have to wait for the revolution in Algeria.
  2. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 13 March 2019 09: 17
    +1
    "Shale revolution" in the US came to an end

    that is how ours began to mine from shale, and China.
    So everything seems to be not badly written, but nothing to do with the shale ...
    1. Bakht Offline Bakht
      Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 13 March 2019 14: 12
      +2
      The problem with the slate is precisely that it ends quickly. So I would not count on slate in the long run. Yes, it can crash prices, but not lower than 65 per barrel. Today, with today's technology, this is exactly the price at which shale can be developed. In the States. Nobody wants to compare conditions in Texas and Western Siberia?
      Russia has its difficulties in developing the Bazhenov formation. Differences from the States in everything. From costs, taxation, technology, cost. Therefore, rely on the Russian shale is not worth it.
  3. oracul Offline oracul
    oracul (leonid) 15 March 2019 06: 11
    +1
    I think that it is quite obvious that the United States is not voluntarily going to give up its role as a planetary hegemon, which for so many years has been carefully building a global economy for this with all the necessary attributes: the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, the SWIFT payment system in conjunction with plastic cards VISA and MASTER, the world the web of the Internet, again, in conjunction with FACEBOOK and other networks, rating agencies in order to discredit possible opponents, the dollar as the main means of payment in the world, allowing you to live at someone else's expense (some transactions give enormous income). All this is backed up by the military might of the United States and the presence of military bases in order to "put in place" the obstinate and dissenting. Oil, as a vital energy resource, gives them a chance of survival in the confrontation with America. Hence, all attempts to get their hands on it.