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Thursday, October 16, 2014

EBOLA AND WEST AFRICA’S OFFSHORE OIL


EBOLA AND WEST AFRICA’S OFFSHORE OIL

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A New Front in the Proxy Resource Wars
By JC Collins
The movement of troops, especially American troops, is the dead giveaway to any broader game plan which is intended to be hidden within the structure of propaganda and media campaigns.  So it is with muted surprise that we hear the news of the United States sending 3,000 troops to help fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
As reported in the New York Times yesterday:

Under pressure to do more to confront the Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa, President Obama on Tuesday is to announce an expansion of military and medical resources to combat the spread of the deadly virus, administration officials said.

What isn’t reported in the article is that 1/3rd of all new oil discoveries have taken place in West Africa.  As reported by Business Day back in May:

West Africa Region accounts for a third of the world’s new oil discoveries,especially in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta basin and the Gulf of Guinea. According to the US Geological Survey, the West African Coastal Province has an estimated 3 200 million barrels of oil. Oil exploration off the coast of West Africa has surged since 2007 when Tullow Oil found the Jubilee field in Ghana, one of the continent’s biggest recent finds. New finds have been made in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Mauritania’s discoveries over the last decade remain to be replicated. Niger has now become a producer and Mali awaits discovery of commercial hydrocarbons.  

There has also been a burst of exploration activity in the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gabon with the hope of finding Jubilee-type giants in the Cretaceous fan formations and pre-salt structures. In Guinea, Tullow is undertaking a seismic survey looking at a potential reserve of 10 billion barrels of oil, and Simba is exploring for oil in Guinea, Ghana, Mali, and Liberia. Cote d’Ivoire has been through a number of political changes and a civil war but Lukoil are on the verge of investing about $400-million in exploration activities in a prospect there.

Considering the resource proxy wars which are taking place in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, are we to think that the large offshore oil fields in Western Africa are not subjected to the same proxy strategy?
But it gets even more interesting.  From the same Business Day article:
Now, the attention is shifting to East Africa. Recent discoveries in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have turned the focus on the region. Massive investments have followed the discoveries in the region too. In 2012, more than 50 exploration wells were completed in East Africa, which is more than half of conventional oil and gas resources found worldwide.  

And here from a Policy Paper published in 2012 from the Center for Chinese Studies titled  “China’s role in the East African oil and gas sector: a new model of engagement?” we learn of how China is actively and strategically setting itself up for control of the oil and gas in Eastern Africa.

And to add even further credence to the importance of African resources, here is another publication, Middle Africa Briefing Note on Energy, this time by Ecobank, the Pan African Bank, titled “Exploration in West Africa’s Frontier Could Unlock 9 Billion Barrels in 2014″. 

Right out of the gate the policy paper states the following:
Oil and Gas independent companies have spent US$200 million over the past 4 years acquiring assets in some of West Africa’s less explored countries, notably, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

So lets take a look at a map of the offshore oil discoveries in West Africa.  Here is a map from the USGS:
West AFrica USGS

And here is a map of the Ebola outbreak from the same region.  This map is provided by USAID and the CDC:
Screen-Shot-2014-08-28-at-12_42_33-PM_0

You can literally superimpose one map over the other and conclude that the mobilization of 3000 American troops to West Africa has more to do with securing the offshore oil resources than it does the Ebola outbreak.

But like all great plans and strategies there are multiple moves at work here.  There is a very high probability supported with strong evidence, that the Ebola virus was manufactured and dispersed intentionally.  As covered in the previous post Global Pandemic and Quarantine, the Ebola outbreak is offering a very convenient pretext for  shutting down global equity markets and invoking a subtle form of martial law across the spectrum of western and eastern countries.  This would obviously facilitate the transition to the multilateral financial system while offering a reason to the disorganized masses for the failure of the old and the need for the new.

Any forward action on these fronts well likely be a slow burn as opposed to fast jumping movements.  The economic transition in essence started back in 2008 and has been progressing as a very slow pace.  This will continue until 2018.  The Ebola outbreak, for its part, offers the same slow burn approach as the economic policy and institutional changes which are taking place.
There are seldom coincidences of this calibre which take place on such a global scale.  The resource proxy wars continue in Ukraine and Iraq, and now we can recognize the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa as another front in the same war.
What will be interesting down the road is what will happen when the US controlled West African fields and the China controlled East African fields eventually meet in Middle Africa.  What proxy war structure can be established in the region at that time?  Perhaps the North Africa country of Libya is more strategic than first realized.  – JC


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