“The new oil war” (article published in Eleftheros Typos 20.11.2014)
“The new oil war”
The recent fall in world oil prices has a double effect: positive effect for Western consumer warning and negative effect for the authoritarian governments of oil-producing countries, whose revenue has relied on the black gold since 1973 to today. Because the latter countries want to balance the ready for eruption popular indignation movement, due to their capacity to export oil. The fall of around 25% is not yet a disaster.
The fall of approximately 25 % has not yet been destroyed, but it simply brings the price back to the level of how it used to be in 2010. Of course, there are a lot of talks about further permanent decline in the value of a barrel from $ 110 to $120, which is today $80, however the very context of reducing the oil price should be analysed more. The Saudis said that overproduction of defining policy of Opep, which is the first oil exporters to the United States, started to worry seriously because of shale gas in the US.
Through this newly-explored technique, the US will soon be able to self- produce their energy needs, and thus, the advantage of the countries of the Gulf that made them the first energy producer worldwide.
Therefore, by lowering the price around $ 80 a barrel , Saudi Arabia is trying not to lose this control, and try to save time, for the time will no longer be the dominant in the energy game. This kind of war about oil prices would effect Russia, Algeria, Venezuela, Iraq and Iran , whose budget depends on the balance of hydrocarbons which settles the balance of the people. And thus impose their authoritarianism . For example, Saudi Arabia escaped the revolutionary spring of 2011 thanks to oil power, which even allowed the Saudi leaders to give $130 billion to their needs. The threat, however, remains and the Sunni jihadists in Iraq and Syria continue to worry Riyadh. Yet, even if Saudi Arabia manages to withstand this, countries such as Iran and Russia are threatened by a rapid fall in the oil price. Especially Iran, could probably accept the compromise because of the nuclear crisis. Russia is also sensitive. It was indeed the fall of oil prices that triggered the fall of the Soviet Union itself in 2000 and that helped Putin increase his power to dominate over Yeltsin. According to experts, $ 90 a barrel is required in order to balance the budget of the Russia, or the decline threatens. The new war begins with the exploitation of shale gas in the US. It could thus become a weapon of western democracies, and therefore, it could become the cause of the fall of authoritarian regimes.