Further to my letter to The Economist, in the 05/10/02 issue, on the US
paying a premium, as it were, for secure (non-Middle East) oil, two new
sources have just come to light, although one's politically and
geographically more secure than the other.

1. The Scotian Bank, off the coast of Nova Scotia is a deep water site
which had previously been estimated to have reserves of 175 billion m^3
(20 trillion cu ft), has now had its estimated size doubled to 350
billion m^3 (41 trillion cu ft).  As well, 2-5 billion barrels of light
crude have been found there.

2. A little tiny country most people have probably never heard of, S‚o
Tomť & Principe, an island nation with only a few hundred thousand
inhabitants right in the "armpit" of Africa's Gulf of Guinea (south of
Nigeria, west of Cameroun), whose only claim to distinction is that it
is one of the only countries in Africa which successfully moved from
(Portuguese) colonialism to a stable democracy, is about to become an
"African Bahrein". The site off of the Niger River Delta which provides
most of Nigeria's reserves (Nigeria is the 5th largest source of crude
to the US after Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada and Venezuela) has been
found to extend, albeit at a deeper level, well into Principean waters.
Canadian industry, which pioneered deep-water drilling and supply under
adverse conditions (the Hibernia oil field off the coast of
Newfoundland, which is far deeper than any North Sea or Gulf of Mexico
or Gulf of Guinea field) are well-placed to help out, but obviously, the
US is interested in STP as a source of imports precisely because the
government is (so far) stable, and there are no tribal or ethnic
conflicts to worry about. STP's economy is primarily dependent upon
cocoa at the present.

--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high
and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our
mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the
authorís employer, nor those of any organization with which the author
may be associated.

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