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Monday, November 08, 2004 

Canada's New Best Friend

Iraq is all about the US wanting and needing Iraqi oil for itself. Or is it?

My belief is that the US needs to control the Iraqi oil supply (while at the same time providing plenty of business opportunities for American industry) to keep the sleeping dragon, China from becoming too powerful, too fast. China consumes a lot of oil to keep the millions of cars on the road and to fuel the industries which manufacture just about everything for the West. But since 1993, China's oil supply has been in decline. "By some estimates, the country's current proven reserves will be depleted in as few as 14 years." (China's Quest for Oil, Oct.18, 2004, Time Magazine) And they're on the hunt for it from anyone who has oil to sell. They've tried Russia, Indonesia and various Middle Eastern countries. They even signed deals to develop two oil fields in Iraq but the UN sanctions scuttled that idea and the US occupation of Iraq buried it.

So they know that they need to find alternative sources of oil and fast to avoid being vulnerable in the coming years to the recent developments in the middle east.

When I first wrote this opinion several months ago, it was just an unsubstantiated idea. But as the years passed, I kept finding more evidence to support his theory. The latest being China's acquistion of Canada's raw minerals company, Noranda and they are poised to become a major investor in the Athabasca Oil Sands.(http://globeandmail.workopolis.com/servlet/Content/qprinter/20040928/ROILS28). This latest piece of information, further proves that the USA didn't need to invade Iraq to get oil. They could have spent less money, maintained some semblance of foreign diplomacy and done it all peacefully had they just invested in the Tar Sands themselves. According to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, the Athabasca Tar Sands is the largest oil deposit in the world, with an estimated 1.6 trillion barrels of oil.

Allowing for a modest recovery rate, the tar sands total reserves are estimated at 176 billion to 271 billion barrels. If extraction methods can be found to get at the deeper stuff, the estimates rise to as much as 2.5 trillion barrels. For the 20-year period between 1996 and 2016, some $87 billion in capital projects around tar sands development have been announced. All this positions Canada as an oil superpower, rivalling OPEC. (Ottawa Citizen, December 6, 2003)

It's not like USA didn't know about it. On May 7, Alberta received a letter from Spencer Abraham (George Bush's Energy Secretary) confirming 176 billion barrels. And they can't claim that it just costs too much to get the oil because I'm sure the war on Iraq is costing them more than just money. No, all these issues point to the USA's desire to control the exports of the second largest oil reserves in the world--not to take the oil for themselves.

"The world has the oil, and China has the money," says Chen Huai of the Development Research Center, a think tank in Beijing run by China's Cabinet. Soon, China will have both.