Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

Oil's New Ball Game

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue III - June 22, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: Today the oil market is much more restricted than it used to be, because governments own the vast majority of the world's oil -- which puts those governments' private partners in constant danger of expropriation and political attacks. This artificial government-imposed scarcity of oil is a reason Dr. Belew sees for exploring alternative energy sources -- especially nuclear energy -- to overcome the barriers foreign governments erect against private oil extraction. 

In the 1960s, 85% of the oil in the world was available for ownership, development, partnerships, and such. At the time, 14% of the oil reserves belonged to the Soviet Union.

Today it is the reverse of that: 16% of the world's oil is available. 65% is owned by the nations that possess the fields and 19% has limited access -- that is, nations, including Russia, will allow others to invest in and partially own their oil fields.

It's different now. And, shall we not forget there are some nations that will allow investment and development and then, when all is said and done, kick out the major investor?

The rules are different than they were 40 years ago.

Question: when will the world become less dependent on oil? How about exploring
nuclear power again?

Nearly 80% of the energy in France comes from nuclear power. I reckon the French don't care at all what the rest of the world does with its oil.

Why can't other countries do that? Why not the US?

What do you think?


Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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