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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, April 21, 2008

Re: Well that’s interesting

That is interesting!

When I was resident in the UAE the low test gasoline was a smidgen under $1.00/Imperial gallon and high test a smidgen more than $1.00/imperial gallon and that included full service attendants. The price did not waver a single fil (roughtly, .271 cents) while I was there from 1992-1998.

This Wiki article (linked to in my previous oil blog) notes the UAE's estimated oil reserves are on par with Kuwait.

The only other major manufacturing industries in the UAE are concrete and aluminum and aluminum requires large amounts of electricity. In addition, they need energy for desalination and for their road lighting (however, a buddy pointed out the road lighting helped them out in not having to take electrical generation offline at night, he noted that shutting down base generation facilities is not a good thing). The triangle of highways connecting Al-Ain, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi are completely lit up and each leg of the drive is probably ninety miles each. Of course, remember air-conditioning, a place that can have a dew point in the upper '80s low '90s either has air-conditioning or a much more laid back lifestyle.

I am guessing they would rather export their oil for big bucks than consume the petroleum themselves. Remember too, Dubai's airline Emirates Air just place a huge order for jets from Airbus and Boeing, so as one radio commentator points out, if Dubai (airport code DXB) is placing orders for large quantities of huge airliners they are confident there will be fuel to run them for a good long while.

How will this affect life in the UAE? Well, I am guessing it will be sometime before battery technology will be able to drive a Nissan Patrol 80 mph through a round-a-bout forcing the Patrol onto two wheels, so I am guessing road safety will increase.

However, I am concerned about the operating safety of the plants. My guess is the design, construction, operation, and all but the guys who mop the floors will be Western ex-pats. My concern on this front is sooner or later someone is going to pull out their wasta and get a job in the plant they are not qualified for and cause serious harm. By Western, I mean mostly UK, US, and Canadian expertise, but the French are big on nuclear so they may get some contracts out of this too. My experience though is if the UAE really puts its mind to doing things right, it does things right.