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4.0 out of 5 stars Of Petro-pricing, Petro-consumption, Petro-power & the "Petroaggressors", 25 Aug. 2010
Gaurav Sharma (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth (Bloomberg) (Hardcover)
It is mighty hard to imagine life without oil; such has been the dominance of the internal combustion engine on life in the developed world over the last six decades. Now the developing world is catching-up fast with the burgeoning economies of China and India leading the pack. End result is every economy, regardless of its scale is suddenly worried about its energy security. The author of this book - Robert Slater - opines that a grab for this finite hydrocarbon may and in some cases already is turning ugly.

In fact he writes that the West, led by the USA (currently the world's largest consumer of crude oil), largely ignored the initial signs regarding supply and demand permutations. In a book of just under 200 pages split by 16 chapters, Slater notes that with all the easy oil fast dwindling, scarcity of supply has resulted in the rise of "petroaggressors" - i.e. nations hell-bent on using oil to further their political agenda in a world addicted to oil.

What a brilliant term petroaggressor is! After all, little else can be said of Iran, Venezuela, Russia and others who are seeking to alter the energy security hegemony from the developed world to the Third world. They are flanked by countries such as India and China who are desperate to secure the supply of crude oil with very few scruples to fuel their respective economic growth.

As the star of the major oil companies declines, Slater writes that their market share and place is being taken not by something better - but rather by state-run, unproductive and politics ridden behemoths dubbed as National Oil Companies (NOCs). If the peak oil hypothesis, ethical concerns, price speculation and crude price volatility were not enough, geopolitics and NOCs run by despots could make this 'crude' world reach a tipping point.

The author believes all this may spur the threat of violence, domestic as well as global. From Africa to China, from Russia to the gas pumps in California - a very worrying story is unfolding in the shadows. It is one of greed, exploitation, tyranny, questionable ethics and of citizenry's and governments' inability to grasp that displaying nonchalance towards a finite hydrocarbon product would not make the problem go away. Slater's thoughts on the ongoing grab for global oil wealth are well worth reading and mulling over.
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Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth (Bloomberg)
Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth (Bloomberg) by Robert Slater (Hardcover - 1 July 2010)
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