Martes, Hunyo 12, 2012

Oil: A Blessing or A Curse?

Oil enables firms to produce grocery goods, utensils, shoes and other needs of people. It allows the transport of people from the one place to another in a faster speed. Oil energy resources continue making countries wealthier. However, oil also caused environmental damages and unending conflicts in many parts of the world. These disasters make the world re-evaluate oil if it's a big blessing or a tank of curse.

Oil-producing Countries

According to Business Insider, Saudi Arabia is the top oil-producing country in the world. Saudi produces 10. 783M barrels of petroleum every year. Other top oil-producing countries are Russia, Unites States, Iran, China, Canada, Mexico United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Iraq.
In February this year, Thomson Reuters reported that crude oil price in Iran went as high as $120 per barrel. In the past months, crude oil price was steady at $110 per barrel.
Studies show that developing countries that discovered oil within their territory became two to three times richer in time. Singapore, one of the oil-exporting countries, for instance managed to grow its export revenue from $19B in 1980 to $110B in 1998. However, experts note that the growth is due to proper management of natural resources.

Since oil is considered a daily commodity for everyone, oil-producing and oil-exporting countries created organizations to supervise the trade, so no abuse is made. Once oil prices go up, prices of products and service also increase. The soaring retail prices of oil urged businesses to have their own oil refinery. According to Delta Air Lines which announced its purchase of an oil refinery, this move is to maximize jet fuel production.

The Curse of the Oil Industry

In an editorial published by the Tribune 242, it was noted that doing a cost-and-benefit analysis of the proposed oil exploration in the northwestern Bahamas should deal with the assessing of the exploration's environmental impacts and its impact to the relationship between the Bahamas and its neighboring regions.
The editorial also added that countries where oil is concentrated have corrupt officials and remain to be the poorest. Iran and Haiti, among the oil-producing and oil-exporting countries are among the world's most corrupt countries. In the case of South Sudan, wherein oil revenues constitute more than 98% of its budget, President Salva Kiir revealed this week that South Sudan corrupt officials have stolen an estimated $4B of public money.

Before the revelation by the president of the oil-producing country, South Sudan has been in deep terror due to its conflict with Sudan. Civil wars between the two countries killed about two million people. Oil fueled the first civil war. The United Nations have intervened to ease the tension between the two African countries, which are both exporting oil energy supplies to the world. South Sudan has now three-fourths of the old Sudan's oil resources.
Meanwhile in Bonga, Africa, crude oil has polluted the rivers, streams and ponds in finishing communities there. In 2010, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico led to the filing of criminal charges against the people behind the horror. During oil spills, coral reefs are polluted, killing thousands of fishes, leaving fishermen jobless and created more families without food.

In India, an international conference called "Oil Spill 2012" will push through in September to discuss about the overall dimensions of oil spill problems. This May, India barred giant tanker Exxon Valdez, which was involved in one of the worst oil spills, from entering the country.
Meanwhile, University of California political science professor Michael L. Ross wrote a book on how come countries rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability and have more wars. Ross made an analysis on how the blessing was turned into a curse.

Oil (for transportation) has aided in providing food for millions of people around the world, as well as unforgettable nightmares. PollPursuit, a Facebook application, requests for viewpoints on this controversial issue on whether oil is a blessing or a curse. Visit Pollpursuit official Facebook Page.

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