Brazil Oil Finds May End Reliance on Middle East, Zeihan Says
By Joe Carroll
Brazil's discoveries of what may be two of the world's three biggest oil finds in the past 30 years could help end the Western Hemisphere's reliance on Middle East crude, Strategic Forecasting Inc. said.
Saudi Arabia's influence as the biggest oil exporter would wane if the fields are as big as advertised, and China and India would become dominant buyers of Persian Gulf oil, said Peter Zeihan, vice president of analysis at Strategic Forecasting in Austin, Texas. Zeihan's firm, which consults for companies and governments around the world, was described in a 2001 Barron's article as "the shadow CIA.''
Brazil may be pumping "several million'' barrels of crude daily by 2020, vaulting the nation into the ranks of the world's seven biggest producers, Zeihan said in a telephone interview. The U.S. Navy's presence in the Persian Gulf and adjacent waters would be reduced, leaving the region exposed to more conflict, he said.
"We could see that world becoming a very violent one,'' said Zeihan, former chief of Middle East and East Asia analysis for Strategic Forecasting. "If the United States isn't getting any crude from the Gulf, what benefit does it have in policing the Gulf anymore? All of the geopolitical flux that wracks that region regularly suddenly isn't our problem.''
1) Brazil Oil Finds May End Reliance on Middle East, Zeihan Says