Energy soaring prices

What is currently needed is transparency at the oil markets dominated by speculators, political stability in the Middle East, where the situation in Iraq and the West’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear issue affect prices.

An increase in oil search is unlikely to have immediate effect as it takes years both to find oil and to commercialise it. For the case of the USA, drilling its coasts for about 19 billion barrels of oil, it wouldn’t see a drop of that offshore oil for at least a decade. Its coastal oil supply would translate to 2 1/2 years worth of oil at current consumption levels.

An increase in search for oil is just a long term strategy as drilling and producing will takes years. Speculators act on the spur of the moment. They are likely to continue to manipulate the market as long as there are no political measures to curb their influence. The producing states like Venezuela won’t miss this rare opportunity of price booms to make the biggest profit.

What drives the prices up, in addition to increasing demands, is the lack of stability. In Nigeria, for example, there arte attacks on oil installations and strikes halting the production. In Iraq, the lack of security hampers full capacity production. In case of a military attack on Iran, the prices will even go higher. It is also used as a weapon by other states like Russia.

Other sources of energy should be explored and developed like solar, wind and hydro energies. The Congo River can generate elecricity electricity for 500 million people in Africa.. But DR Congo first needs peace and stability for the realisation of this project. If these sources are used to produce electricity for homes and other small electric gadgets, there will be less pressure on oil as it can be used for big machines, which currently can’t be run with the alternative sources mentioned.

As oil isn’t everlasting, it can create more problems. Its shortage can cause a big economic crisis, not to mention the ecological disasters ensuing from its extensive use. More efforts should be done to develop the alternative sources although it will take a long time to make them the principal means to produce energy.

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