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Oil producers - May 29

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Indonesia to Pull Out of OPEC

Tom Wright, Wall Street Journal
Reduced to the status of a marginal net oil exporter, Indonesia will quit the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at the end of this year, Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Wednesday.

Asia's only OPEC member, Indonesia still exports natural gas, but its aging oil fields and lack of fresh investment in exploration have undermined the country as a crude producer and forced it to slash costly domestic fuel subsidies as global oil prices soar.

Earlier this month, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government would soon decide whether to quit the organization because of its declining ...
(28 May 2008)


Oil crisis triggers fevered scramble for the world's seabed

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, UK Telegraph
Record prices drive secret underwater land-grab as old enemies capitalise on colonies. ---
A fevered scramble for control of the world's seabed is going on - mostly in secret - at a little known office of the United Nations in New York.

Bemused officials are watching with a mixture of awe and suspicion as Britain and France stake out legal claims to oil and mineral wealth as far as 350 nautical miles around each of their scattered islands across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. It takes chutzpah. Not to be left out, Australia and New Zealand are carving up the Antarctic seas.

The latest bombshell to land on the desks of UN's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is a stack of confidential documents from the British Government requesting an extension of UK territorial waters around Ascension Island, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.

The three outposts between them draw big circles in the Mid and South Atlantic, covering unexplored zones that may one day offer deep reserves of crude oil and gas.
(28 May 2008)


The Race for the Arctic Seabed Arrives in Greenland

cgh, Reuters via Der Spiegel
A number of countries want the oil that might lie beneath the floor of the Arctic Ocean. Five of them are meeting this week to establish some ground rules for the land grab.

...The talks, hosted by Denmark and attended by Norway, Russia, Canada and the United States, are aimed at beginning a process to settle overlapping and competing claims to bits of seabed. Geologists estimate that melting ice will make oil drilling in the Arctic (more...) possible within decades. Finding out who will be profiting from that drilling has become a priority. Participants are also hoping to agree on ways to factor environmental and social concerns into the rush for resources.

...Denmark is hoping that all five states will commit to abiding by UN rules, despite the fact that the US has still not ratified the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Both Denmark and Norway have said that an additional treaty to regulate seafloor claims in the Arctic are not necessary.
(27 May 2008)

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