More OPEC Members May Leave

23 minutes ago, mthebold said:

 

There are a couple things it would be nice to accomplish: 
1) Oil prices high enough to drive new technologies (E.g. electric cars), but not high enough to skewer poor people.
2) Ending Middle Eastern wealth, influence, and violence. 
3) Putting a larger share of production in the hands of stable countries.

Personally, I'd like to see the world intentionally squeeze OPEC out of the market as we're able to bring alternative supplies online.  Do you two have any thoughts on that? 

I think we should continue to use oil and coal until we overcome the problems that are preventing us from using "cold fusion".

The only other technology out there is SOLAR.   But the energy transfer % rate is still too low.   If we could increase the efficiency in some revolutionary new and cheap way,  that would be good. 

Other than that,  i say stick with what we know,  and have.

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8 minutes ago, t566480 said:

No. Let them fall apsrt. The issue with terrorism will be dealt with easier if there is no money.

The Saudi's involvement in terrorism is minimal in comparison to all that is happening.

The Saudi's run OPEC as a "side job" for various reasons.

The Saudi's main task is to run their country,  and to GOVERN Islam thru the control of Mecca,  etc.

If the Saudi's fall,   then "IRAN WOULD FILL THE VACUUM."

I choose the Saudi's running Islam over Iran running Islam.

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1 hour ago, Illurion said:

The Saudi's involvement in terrorism is minimal in comparison to all that is happening.

The Saudi's run OPEC as a "side job" for various reasons.

The Saudi's main task is to run their country,  and to GOVERN Islam thru the control of Mecca,  etc.

If the Saudi's fall,   then "IRAN WOULD FILL THE VACUUM."

I choose the Saudi's running Islam over Iran running Islam.

What if we destroy Iran's oil market share first?  That seems to be the plan thus far, and I don't see how Iran can replace that revenue.  They're certainly not competitive in other industries.  

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48 minutes ago, mthebold said:

What if we destroy Iran's oil market share first?  That seems to be the plan thus far, and I don't see how Iran can replace that revenue.  They're certainly not competitive in other industries.  

It would be nice if the Iranian Mullahs were overthrown,  and Iran became a free non-sectarian country.

But,  i don't see it happening any time soon.

Iran is an impoverished country,  and the people are used to having nothing.

When they do periodically rise up,  they are quickly put down.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard have always been ruthless,  and routinely kill those who get out of line.

The Revolutionary Guard make the Shah's old SAVAK look tame.

There is practically zero chance of a successful revolution in Iran in my view.

France and Germany are far more likely to have a revolution than Iran in my view.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Illurion said:

It would be nice if the Iranian Mullahs were overthrown,  and Iran became a free non-sectarian country.

But,  i don't see it happening any time soon.

Iran is an impoverished country,  and the people are used to having nothing.

When they do periodically rise up,  they are quickly put down.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard have always been ruthless,  and routinely kill those who get out of line.

The Revolutionary Guard make the Shah's old SAVAK look tame.

There is practically zero chance of a successful revolution in Iran in my view.

France and Germany are far more likely to have a revolution than Iran in my view.

  

 

Do they need a revolution though?  What happens if their government stays intact, but it lacks the money to fund foreign operations? 

 

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3 hours ago, mthebold said:

Do they need a revolution though?  What happens if their government stays intact, but it lacks the money to fund foreign operations? 

 

Saudis or Iran???? I dont know who is writing this but since I know both countries very well, trust me they do not have much choice with low oil price. Iran is shia, how shia can replace sunni?  Put low prices and entire islamic philosophy is going to fall. They know to eat, have sex and call contractors to pump out the oil for them. Without oil they can just scream. Period. The highest technological breakthrough in Iran is copy of French Peugeot car from 1960', they call it there Peykan or something alike.

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6 hours ago, Illurion said:

They are the figurehead of an entire religion,  and are trying to slowly "adapt" that religion to modern times in such a way that they do not get themselves targeted by the "far-right" of their religion who continually resist the changes needed..

The family itself is highly educated from Western Schools.

Given the alternative of what the "vacuum" would be filled by if the Saudi's were to be overthrown,  I would prefer that they remain in power,  and continue what they have been doing.   Minus the periodic funding for terrorism.

the House of Saud claims to be protector of the Two Holy Mosques, but even they don't claim to leaders of the faith. The Whabbi version of Sunni is quite conservative, what they teach in their versions of the haddith are very harsh. The lifestyle of the House of Saud is quite out of step with it. The deal they made way back aligning tribes to retake their homeland prior to the creation of Saudi Arabia. MBS is trying to move away from that deal. Islam isn't even close to a unified faith. The Whabbis are even a minority within Saudi Arabia. Sunnis don't have, to use a christian term, a pope, a great leader to follow. The House of Saud do actively view themselves as a counter to Iran, which is primarily Shia. Both Sunni and Shia do agree on the 5 basic tenets. 

Yes, a very outwardly controlled culture, with very little visible dissent. As for well controlled, you clearly haven't tried to work there and seen how disjointed everything is, partly out of fear. Totalitarian states, with their control fetish, induce a lack of control in so many ways.

MBS is not educated in the west. However many Saudis do have a western education. Some are from expensive diploma mills, some excellent students at top schools. A son of the HE Khalid Al Falah graduated with my daughter in the mechanical engineering school for her undergrad, and several Saudis graduated with her graduate work at the Earth and Sciences school at Stanford. And there are a lot men have degrees in Islamic studies which are pretty much useless for work as I know it.

There was a coup just a couple of years ago when MbS came to power. Change in leadership doesn't mean the House of Saud would be overthrown. The people see what's happen with regime changes around them and not that they have a choice, but they'd rather the devil they know than the chaos of regime changes in Iraq, attempted in Syria, in Egypt.

Remember it's a very young country. An energy grid only really started in the early 80s. When you realize it was mud huts in the 70s, to today, they've done well. I personally think they should have done it at the rate they could have built it, instead hired outsiders to build and run it, but it is impressive what the last 40 years have done.

If they had a fundamental regime change the country would probably retreat inward, not step up on exporting fundamentalism. The worry would be would an outside interloper try and move in. No country on their borders could challenge them. Their fundamental challenges are internal. Hence their fetish at quieting dissent.

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7 hours ago, mthebold said:

 

There are a couple things it would be nice to accomplish: 
1) Oil prices high enough to drive new technologies (E.g. electric cars), but not high enough to skewer poor people.
2) Ending Middle Eastern wealth, influence, and violence. 
3) Putting a larger share of production in the hands of stable countries.

Personally, I'd like to see the world intentionally squeeze OPEC out of the market as we're able to bring alternative supplies online.  Do you two have any thoughts on that? 

1) yup totally

2) Not to take away wealth, I'd love to see everyone wealthy, but a fair amount of influence and violence for sure.

3)complicated.

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4 hours ago, mthebold said:

Do they need a revolution though?  What happens if their government stays intact, but it lacks the money to fund foreign operations? 

Iran's exporting of foreign adventures is relatively speaking, on a shoe string budget. And exactly why are we so worried. I can't recall any significant Iranian adventures against the west in the past 30 years. The Iran government trash talks the USA, but it's empty words. We have allies that speak well of us while funding actions against us.

Met a lot of people who have spent time in Iran. Almost all came away favorably impressed by the people, not so much the government. But at least there are churches, synagogs, etc.. The roads work, the people work. 

And of course, great carpets.

 

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(edited)

8 hours ago, t566480 said:

Iran is shia, how shia can replace sunni? The highest technological breakthrough in Iran is copy of French Peugeot car from 1960', they call it there Peykan or something alike.

Whoever controls Mecca,  controls Islam.  If it could be said that Islam could be controlled.

As for Iranian technology.   Several years ago they captured,  and reverse-engineered one of our most advanced Drones.  

They reverse-engineered the F4 Phantoms we left there in the 1970's and are now offering their new version on the military sales market.

And lets not forget that they are a hop and a skip from building their own nuclear weapons.

I had a number of Iranian guys attend college with me long ago.  They were good guys.  Sharp.  The Shah chose them from his military and sent them to the States for an education.   There were about a dozen or so that were in most of my classes.

We became friends,  and i would help them with their homework in exchange for them teaching me to 'CURSE" in Farsi.

They are all dead now.   The Revolutionary Guard executed them.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IRANIANS.

Edited by Illurion
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6 hours ago, John Foote said:

Iran's exporting of foreign adventures is relatively speaking, on a shoe string budget. And exactly why are we so worried. I can't recall any significant Iranian adventures against the west in the past 30 years. The Iran government trash talks the USA, but it's empty words. We have allies that speak well of us while funding actions against us.

Met a lot of people who have spent time in Iran. Almost all came away favorably impressed by the people, not so much the government. But at least there are churches, synagogs, etc.. The roads work, the people work. 

And of course, great carpets.

 

I have nothing against the Iranian people themselves, but I have seen evidence that the government exports violence.  IIRC, many of the terrorist organizations we fought in Iraq and Israel still fights at home are trained, equipped, and funded by Iran.  We also knew the manufacturing methods & technologies used to make various IEDs were coming from Iran*.

I bear no particular ill will towards these countries, but I have seen evidence that they use their wealth to the detriment of others.  I would like to see them sufficiently poor and internally destabilized that foreign adventures aren't an option.  Keep them occupied with internal struggles.  At the very least, I'd like the West to stop handing them oil money.

 

*  "The enemy can turn your armored vehicle into swiss cheese, we know where the technology is coming from, but we can't attack the source" is a fun briefing...

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I don't think that there's any question OPEC is about to coma apart.  Sure, they'll continue on in some form, but I suspect their days as the dominate force in Global Energy has clearly passed.  I see it as part of a longer process that began with their War on Shale that likely participated the 2 year long crash in prices.  It was widely seen as a war on the Permian, but most ignored that it was also, more probably mainly, about fighting off Russia as a competitor for mainly European markets.  Russia, quite deftly and successfully, turned the conflict into an opportunity to co-opt Saudi.  How Saudi couldn't see that a partnership with a close and staunch ally of Iran, a main counter-weight to Saudi, was a bad idea is beyond me.  This coupled with the near crippling effect low prices had on it's internal finances basically produced MBS.  I thought all along that Putin's main goal, as it almost always is, was to destabilize Saudi Arabia.  

A destabilized Saudi Peninsula will be very deleterious to all western powers especially the USA. The fall of the House of Saud will make the debacles in Egypt and Libya seem like a playground dust up. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that the USA just returned to it's former status as net exporter.  This increased competition will put further pressure on Saudi to fight for market share most probably pushing them further into Russia's sphere of influence.  This can't end well as, I believe, Russia sees it's future more tied to Iran's ascendancy, made more easy by a weak Saudi Arabia.  

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OPEC is not necessarily in crisis, but they will definitely have to make some changes. With Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US as the top producers and a third of the global oil production, OPEC's influence, without the US and Russia, would be small potatoes. So now OPEC will move to bring Russia into the fold, because they NEED to if they are to have any sway at all. They will pay dearly for Russia's cooperation. 

If Russia is officially included in some cartel capacity, it will go a long way towards keeping its existing members. 

 

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Aren't they already part of of OPEC, at least effectively?  The last OPEC meeting was billed and truly functioned as OPEC+.  They delayed some decision making until Russia could weigh in.  So, your comment is correct, I guess but tied to a reality that is already here.  And, Russia's inclusion has been destabilizing.  Qatar left OPEC for political reasons underpinned by Saudi's ongoing proxy wars in Yemen and campaign of harassing countries like Qatar who they see as more aligned with Iran.  You can't deny that Iran is largely ascendant due to a lack of USA presence in the theater and from backing by the Russian government.  So, what you suggest may happen is already well under way.  

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9 minutes ago, OilPro_Rolando said:

Aren't they already part of of OPEC, at least effectively?  The last OPEC meeting was billed and truly functioned as OPEC+.  They delayed some decision making until Russia could weigh in.  So, your comment is correct, I guess but tied to a reality that is already here.  And, Russia's inclusion has been destabilizing.  Qatar left OPEC for political reasons underpinned by Saudi's ongoing proxy wars in Yemen and campaign of harassing countries like Qatar who they see as more aligned with Iran.  You can't deny that Iran is largely ascendant due to a lack of USA presence in the theater and from backing by the Russian government.  So, what you suggest may happen is already well under way.  

Dating isn't the same thing as being married. OPEC needs an official commitment from Russia. 

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Ha!!  Okay fair enough.  But, I still think the net effect is the same.  But, you know "if's and but's, beer and nuts, we'll have ourselves a party".  

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1 hour ago, OilPro_Rolando said:

A destabilized Saudi Peninsula will be very deleterious to all western powers especially the USA. The fall of the House of Saud will make the debacles in Egypt and Libya seem like a playground dust up. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that the USA just returned to it's former status as net exporter.  This increased competition will put further pressure on Saudi to fight for market share most probably pushing them further into Russia's sphere of influence.  This can't end well as, I believe, Russia sees it's future more tied to Iran's ascendancy, made more easy by a weak Saudi Arabia.  

If the West has its own oil - or at least, plenty of ways to get oil - why does the Saudi Peninsula matter to us at all? 

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2 hours ago, Rodent said:

Dating isn't the same thing as being married. OPEC needs an official commitment from Russia.

and some guys are always on the look out for their next ex-wife.  

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11 hours ago, mthebold said:

I have nothing against the Iranian people themselves, but I have seen evidence that the government exports violence.

I bear no particular ill will towards these countries, but I have seen evidence that they use their wealth to the detriment of others. 

Yes, the Iranian government does seek to dominate the Middle East crescent, but they stick to the Middle East for their meddling. The same can't be said for Sunni fundamentalist who have gone global and have a much higher level of intolerance. 

It's a mistake to think KSA-Sunni, Iran-Shia. The head of Aramco today was born Shia. The Eastern province of KSA has many Shia and I worked with Shia Saudis who had went to Shia sites in Iran. There are significant Sunni populations on the Iranian shore of the Persian/Arab Gulf.

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1 hour ago, John Foote said:

Yes, the Iranian government does seek to dominate the Middle East crescent, but they stick to the Middle East for their meddling. The same can't be said for Sunni fundamentalist who have gone global and have a much higher level of intolerance. 

It's a mistake to think KSA-Sunni, Iran-Shia. The head of Aramco today was born Shia. The Eastern province of KSA has many Shia and I worked with Shia Saudis who had went to Shia sites in Iran. There are significant Sunni populations on the Iranian shore of the Persian/Arab Gulf.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you're saying there are multiple factions of Islam, and they're mixed throughout each country.  You also make the point that Iran has confined its influence to the Middle East, although I would question whether they would branch out given the opportunity. 

My overarching point is that various Middle Eastern nations have abused any amount of power; whether they do so locally or globally seems less relevant than the fact that they abuse it.  Thus, I would like to see them all with less wealth and power.  The easiest way to accomplish that is to stop buying their oil.  Without oil revenues, they'd still be dicks - but on a much smaller scale.

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On 12/6/2018 at 12:14 AM, jose chalhoub said:

watch how Venezuela will be out 2019... personally i dont see Venezuela being a member of the group anymore as its production falls further and below the threshold of the 1 millions of barrels per day. It will happen just as what happened with Indonesia. But of course since OPEC is a political organisation and the way i see it is running and anxious to get more members out of thin air (seriously Congo does not have to be a member of this bloc) in order to look alive even if its not and does not control the majority of the market, then i think Venezuela will stay although sadly its only for the pictures for whats going the minister of oil of Venezuela since he is doing nothing and he knows nothing about oil and oil diplomacy. 

The leadership style of Cuban Fidel Castro might be worth checking out for brighter future of Venezuelans??

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:28 AM, mthebold said:

If the West has its own oil - or at least, plenty of ways to get oil - why does the Saudi Peninsula matter to us at all? 

That's a damn good question that doesn't get asked nearly enough. 

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19 minutes ago, OilPro_Rolando said:

That's a damn good question that doesn't get asked nearly enough. 

Right?

A lifetime of experience has taught me that if humanity believes one thing, it's that teamwork is when other people do the work for them - and they're quite insistent about other people's moral obligation to do so.  To avoid this thinly-veiled slavery, I've learned to challenge social demands with a question: why should I care?  There are, of course, worthy causes and things that must be done for the greater good.  However, if someone wants me to expend precious time and resources on their cause, they must convince me that their concerns take precedence over a thousand other problems. 

To wit: the world expects the US to pour its blood and treasure into defending them, uplifting them, subsidizing their socialist states, and ensuring their global trade - oil included.  US citizens suffer under this burden as socialist Europeans - whose comfort is made possible by our generosity - mock our system.  Screw that.  They need a sizable dose of economic hardship, internal strife, and foreign invasion to adjust their attitudes. 

Similarly, people will tell me about our obligation to prevent Middle Eastern wars lest the poor, innocent civilians be harmed.  I fought, suffered, and watched those around me die for the safety & freedom of others.  When I came home, society effectively ostracized veterans (they say "thank you for your service" in a way that means, "I want you fight on my behalf, but I don't want to think about all that unpleasantness; please leave me alone"), failed to provide for veterans' medical care, and allowed veterans to fall into destitution.  As it turns out, this is how civilians consistently treat veterans.  I also watched the communities of these veterans suffer, unsure what to do with the trauma caused by the Middle East's particularly uncivil methods of war.  Meanwhile, the Arabs purchased a golden toilet

I'm not particularly impressed by this situation.  In fact, f*** that.  Pardon my French, but it takes staggering gall to treat US citizens this way.  After the sheer dickery I've observed, I don't believe the US has any obligation to help anyone.  If people want to be safe and wealthy like us, they can get off their lazy a**es and earn it. 

Fortunately for the world, the US will be providing a fantastic opportunity for character development: we no longer have any interest in defending Middle Eastern trade lanes and Trump is taking full advantage of that fact.  Europe can figure out how to fund its vast bureaucracy, SE Asia can defend its own trade lanes, Africa can economically develop itself (if it's able, there being no evidence to that effect and plenty to the contrary), and the Middle East can return to the tribal violence from whence it came.  It might take a couple decades of hardship and violence, but I'm confident they'll all learn. 

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