Where are the Carriers?

Posted on July 21st, 2010 by admin

 

Step #1 – Consume Oil

In the Tuesday, July 20, 2010 edition of the Wall Street Journal, the cover article “China Tops U.S. in Energy” describes China’s ranking as the largest consumer of energy now passing the perennial leader – (the U.S.). Over the past several years China has been gobbling up rights to energy development in all the most prolific regions including the M.E.  Their path seems to be following a history not unlike our own where vast investments are made securing rights to foreign oil sources that keep our economy moving along.

Think about the all the negative consequences that result from our need to “protect our foreign supply”. History has shown that our effectiveness in “protecting our foreign supply” results, in part, from our military capabilities.  This is helped by the fact that the U.S. has the largest aircraft carrier fleet in the world with eleven operating vessels.  If one inspects the global ownership of aircraft carriers one will see that the next closest national fleet numbers two and China currently has no operating aircraft carriers. I wonder what happens next?

Step #2 – Get some Aircraft Carriers

Back in in the mid-1980’s, the Chinese government starting acquiring vintage carriers from the Russians – Hmmmm. They were doing this in order to study the subject and develop expertise (this is my speculation).  By 2015, China will have two operating aircraft carriers (this is not speculation).  Aircraft carriers have been around for 90 years and China is getting its first two at about the same time it becomes the largest consumer of energy. I think there is a connection here.

What is going to happen when China’s vital foreign energy sources become threatened? How will China react to the threat? How would our collective interests be aligned or different?  Will the laws of human nature take over? One could argue that we [U.S.] no longer will be viewed as “bad cop” operating in our sole interests because China will have very similar energy interests. This sounds pretty good or maybe not.

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Step #3 – Mobilize

Ok – I can stop the scare tactics now. The point of drawing the picture above is to register with the reader a particular characterization of how we can view the future of the energy state.  I have heard the expression before that searching for oil is like trying to mobilize and support an army.  Now imagine trying to do so simultaneously for not just one or two fighting fronts but perhaps three or four. If one observes the increasing complexities of globally “protecting our foreign supply” then one can gain at least some small insight into the future complexities of mobilization and support of energy exploration and production. Army mobilizations and energy exploration are becoming eerily similar and linked.

The self-serving point I want to make here is the following: It takes immense informational and systems coordination to mobilize an army. It is generally done under a highly-structured, centralized command and everybody involved needs to see everything required and occurring. If the energy industry increasingly has the same needs it will also need the immense informational and systems coordination. This makes the energy sector a good place to apply one’s knowledge and investment efforts around information technology.

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