Monday, June 13, 2005

Dare we say it?

Atrios and Digby ask: Why did we invade Iraq?

From the Houston Chronicle:
"We both have big-country syndrome," said Edward Williams, a Beijing-based attorney with the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Crude oil consumption is one area where China is following right in America's wake — and OPEC, which is meeting Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, knows it.

Since 2003, when China overtook Japan as the world's second-largest importer of oil behind the United States, this country of 1.3 billion people has generated a lot of talk at the table when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets.

Wednesday should be no different when the organization convenes to decide whether to push up the summer production ceiling by 500,000 barrels per day, a symbolic move since most members are already pumping more oil than their stated quotas allow.

Jeff Logan, China program manager for the International Energy Agency, says China's roaring economy is still glowing white-hot despite the government's efforts to slow growth. That's nothing but good news for OPEC, which not long ago some were writing off as irrelevant to world oil prices.

According to the IEA, the cartel supplies 38 percent of the world's oil, but by 2030 — thanks in part to China's growing demand — the group's market share is expected to zoom to 54 percent.

That's because once-gushing oil fields are slowly playing out in such places as the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Caspian Sea and even West Africa.

And, barring a massive economic collapse, most analysts think China and the United States will increasingly compete for the same barrels of oil in the Middle East in the next 20 to 30 years.
Three guesses, first two don't count?

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