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Oil in the Spratly Islands?

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posted on Feb, 10 2004 @ 09:35 PM
Just how big is this reserve? What would be the economic and energy impact of acquiring it's resources? And who does it belong to?

Also, if the U.S. and China ever enter a war, do you think the Spratly Islands will be a major objective for both sides?

posted on Feb, 10 2004 @ 09:49 PM
I think the word is it's potentially oil rich. With all the disputing going on between the ASEAN nations and China It's quite hard to do any geological survey's. My guess is the area is very oil rich. This is just going on my understanding of the resources in the Gulf's of Brunei and Thailand, which are all basically geographically tied to the same geological processes.

*EDIT: Just to comment on your last question, I don't think the spratly's would be an issue to the US because they don't belong to China in the first place. In fact China is nowhere near these islands in comparison to the other countries who lay claim to it. The Malaysian navy would kick them both out if the US and China went to war.

[Edited on 2-10-2004 by insite]

posted on Feb, 10 2004 @ 10:10 PM

Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
Just how big is this reserve? What would be the economic and energy impact of acquiring it's resources? And who does it belong to?

Also, if the U.S. and China ever enter a war, do you think the Spratly Islands will be a major objective for both sides?

read the book SSN by Tom Clancy. its about a chinees invasion of the oil rich spratly islands

posted on Feb, 10 2004 @ 11:03 PM

Interesting response.

Let's expand it a little. Say that it is as large as plentiful as it seems. Considering all goes well, how long do you think these reserves would last? What kind of economic impact would it make?

Also, besides Spratly and Alaska, are there any other untapped petroleum deposits in the world?

posted on Feb, 10 2004 @ 11:32 PM
There are a lot of different untapped regions, or relatively untapped regions. South America is big. You have the rainforest side of Peru, and Patagonia, Argentina. They just found the worlds largest single oil deposit off the coast Angola. The Caspian Basin is big. Brunei as a tiny nation of 300,000 has already produced well over a billion barrels of oil. My guess is that the Spratlys are extremely rich, but there is also the possiblity of natural gas.

Going by what a learned geologist ex-poster said, we could live at our current consumption of natural gas for another 500 years. The Spratly's would only tack on to this. There's a great future in natural gas for power plants and automobiles but that skirts the issue.

The Spratly's alone wouldn't contribute very much to the global oil output, but they would push it up for sure. Seeing as though the nations that dispute the territory are all big industry players as it is, the economic impacts may be lost amongst the bureaucracy of the government and corporations. But trickle down from any oil source is notably sufficient. The Phillippines, Malaysia and especially China have large populations to support while Brunei boasts one of the highest standards of living in the world, so they would barely notice it. The biggest economic impacts would be felt in the upper class who have ties to the industry and possibly government officials (Brunei - that's a given). Most of these countries have a national oil company or are partnered with a corporation that wins the bidding war and a smattering of joint ventures.

My rough estimation on how long the reserves in the Spratly's last is between 20 and 50 years depending on the operations and successful location of wells. Finding the wells takes a long time so you would see the "float" drag the shelf life on and on. The reserves are basically there to be tapped, its an issue of how fast companies can locate and exploit the resources. That's the major limiting factor of oil wells, the efficiency of large oil companies. New oil wells would be discovered and put in place all the time. They are pretty much spread out (with the exception of the find in Angola) and it takes a lot of work to get it out of the ground. The harder it is to find, the longer the reserve lasts.

All in all, there are just too many variables to come up with a decent estimation at how long the reserve would last.

posted on Feb, 11 2004 @ 03:37 PM
Are the Spratlys worth fighting over?

posted on Feb, 11 2004 @ 04:10 PM
Yes they are. But not for the good of the people, well maybe, but to mainly fatten the pockets of those in the oil business and government representatives in this sector of the economy. Any large source of revenue is worth fighting over. It's like what Aristotle said about Sparta and Athens, they should quit their bitching and go do something about the resources elsewhere. They could be making bank right now but they choose to squabble.

Obviously the governments of the countries involved think it's worth fighting over, and they've done a lot more geological research than I have (none, lol).

posted on Feb, 11 2004 @ 04:30 PM
Don't let the misconception that Oil is rare lead you astray.

OIL IS EVERYWHERE, there is more oil under the planet then we will ever use in our lifetime.

BUT if we were to use up the all the oil locked up beneath the surface expect the earth to change very rapidly.

Oil is used as a heat inhibitor for friction in a typical recipricating engine.

What do you think the oil on Earth does ? does it have a function, is there a reason why its there ?

IMO the oil on Earth acts as a heat barrier for the crust material. The more oil you draw out, the more the crust material begins to heat up, the more platetonic activity you get, the more volcanic activity you get, the more methane gas emissions you get and suddenly you have changed the atmosphere on Earth.

IMO the oil deposits are actually very deep and may consist of many natural oil tables. As a paticular deposit gets used, pressurized gases emitted from the molten rock layers surrounding the earths core push outward and convert the inner most portion of hard mantel to oil, so as the reserves are emptied the pressure from below generates more oil (converting inner mantel material) and the gases push the oil back up into the reserve. Which actually is being brought up from a lower oil table.

So in affect we will never run out of oil, but at some point could lose either critical density of inner mantel material causing huge shifts in the platetatonics or such a rapid climb in global tempuratures that the atmopshere could make life impossible.

posted on Feb, 11 2004 @ 04:47 PM

Oil is somewhat scarce and oil is not everywhere. Ask anyone if in the oil industry and they'll tell you of course oil is scarce. "We drill more dry holes than successful ones," is what they will say.

It is this very pressure that you speak of that creates oil. However, oil is the product of decomposing plants and animals that continuously inhabit the earth. This is why the worlds oil supply will never run out, because plants and animals are decomposing every day. The problem is we can extract oil a lot faster than it is created. Oil is locked up within the crust itself. The pressure from above as well as subduction along faults is what causes the crust to become mantle.

Oil reservoirs are not necessary to act as a heat barrier because the immense heat generated by the core will either evaporate the oil into gas or just suck it in for fuel. If you are correct about the oil acting as a heat barrier, it is so low in the crust that modern extraction methods will never be able to reach it, thus avoiding the impending doom you talk about.

One more thing about that doom scenario, you are correct in thinking that a volcano will affect the climate. However, it makes the planet cooler due to sulfite aerosols it expells into the upper atmosphere. If we did find the massive oil tables and it caused a massive volcanic eruption, the oil found within the table would be burned off and cause a greenhouse effect that counteracts the volcano (if on a smaller scale).

*EDIT: Spelling.

[Edited on 2-11-2004 by insite]

posted on Feb, 11 2004 @ 05:56 PM

Wow. I didn't realize that.

But isn't oil from fossils? And isn't that oil you speak about a moot point, since it's too far down to retrieve anyway?

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