It turns out that the poster child for the European debt crisis is not actually poor at all. In fact, the truth is that the nation of Greece is sitting on absolutely massive untapped reserves of gold, oil and natural gas. If the Greeks were to fully exploit the natural resources that are literally right under their feet, they would no longer have any debt problems. Fortunately, this recent economic crisis has spurred them to action and it is now being projected that Greece will be the number one gold producer in Europe by 2016. In addition, Greece is now opening up exploration of their massive oil and natural gas deposits.
Reportedly, Greece is sitting on hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and gigantic natural gas deposits that are worth trillions of dollars. It is truly sad that Greece should be one of the wealthiest nations in all of Europe but instead the country is going through the worst economic depression that it has experienced in modern history. It is kind of like a homeless man that sleeps on the streets every night without realizing that a relative has left him an inheritance worth millions of dollars. Greece is not poor at all, and hopefully the people of Greece can learn the truth about all of this wealth and chart a course out of this current mess.
Now is the Greece dilemma becoming more clear?
Major new energy discoveries in remote, hard-to-reach locations are transforming backwater societies into 21st century super-economies virtually overnight.
These energy discoveries are economic “steroids” to countries trying to grow fast.
With natural gas and oil on their own land, these countries are leapfrogging the centuries it took the West to develop into world powerhouses.
Take a look at what I mean…
Here’s Saudi Arabia before and after oil was discovered there…
No wonder every developing country in the world is racing to control as much of the new gas and oil it can find within its borders or waters.
It’s almost as if OPEC is being kicked to the curb.
These new energy players are saying, “Thanks, but no thanks,” to the old energy giants and digging up their own massive energy reserves.
Strategically located at the intersection between East and West, Dubai is the central hub for international energy trading. In energy, all roads lead to and through Dubai.
Known for centuries for its abundant pearls then for oil, today Dubai’s tribal dynasties deal in the single most coveted and tightly guarded resource of all… information!
For example, back in 2012, when “everyone” thought Iran was going to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and send oil prices flying… And all the “smart” money was betting on $200-a-barrel oil that year…
Yet it was clear as day that Iran had no intention of closing down the world’s most infamous 21-mile energy choke point.
“Iran says it has plans to close the Strait of Hormuz”
The “information” dispensed by governments and industry players for public consumption – and repeated over and over – is designed to misdirect the public.
Societies are being transformed in record time. The old energy paradigm, where a few big players dominated everyone else, is giving way to a whole new world of energy producers.
Confidential Briefing from the Arctic Shelf
Limits to America’s Presence in the Arctic
Moreover, the U.S. has limited international legal jurisdiction over exploration in the Arctic because it is not party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). UNCLOS establishes that the five nations bordering the Arctic: Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland), are granted Exclusive Economic Zone’s (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles off their coasts. However, without being a party to UNCLOS the U.S. cannot secure international legal titles to sites more than 200 miles off the coast. If ratified, the U.S. could gain recognized international rights to 600 miles of extended continental self. Other countries, notably Russia and Canada, have submitted claims that reach to the North Pole.
The USGS offshore Arctic Geological Survey estimates the Alaska’s Arctic Shelf contains two billion barrels of oil and up to 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
But as soon as real results from drilling assays confirm (or better) the USGS’s estimates, land prices will shoot to the moon.
How much energy is actually coming up at nearby wells? How far along is the infrastructure (e.g. pipelines) that will take the gas and oil to market?
If the early samples are any guide, this will be the largest new copper find in the world, with the potential to produce billions of tons of this shiny metal.
And one tiny company owns a 38% share of everything it will ever produce.
On top of everything else, this copper mine has the good fortune of having massive amounts of infrastructure (e.g. river, roads, electricity) already in place, which means taking the copper to market is no problem.
Barely anyone knows about this mine, most likely because it’s still in its embryonic stage. And given its monumental potential copper output and profitability
That’s because of its unusual geologic formations, called “copper peripheries.” These thick veins of copper tilt vertically instead of laying parallel to the earth’s surface.
When some explorers drilled straight down, they completely missed the billions of tons of copper still there waiting to be extracted.
And now that they’re discovering the same formation at hundreds of sites around the world, the potential for new big finds of copper is almost limitless.
Plentiful oil was found in West Africa long ago. That’s the reason for all these Resource Wars
But now, new drilling technologies have located big new finds on and offshore in the east of Africa, too.
Events Are Already Moving Fast.
Across the globe’s most remote and desolate regions, the race for control of the Earth’s ocean of unclaimed energy reserves is raging.
“There will be people all over the world today who are now scared witless,” said Richard Murphy, research director for , a British-based organization that has long campaigned to end the secrecy that surrounds assets held in offshore havens. The leaked files include the names of 4,000 Americans, celebrities as well as more mundane doctors and dentists.
It is not the first time leaks have dented a thick carapace of confidentiality that usually protects the identities of those who stash money in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein and other havens. Nor, in most cases, is keeping money in such places illegal.
But the enormous size of the data dump obtained by the , a Washington-based group that, along with affiliated news media organizations, announced its coup on Thursday, has punched a big hole in the secrecy that surrounds what the Tax Justice Network estimates are assets worth at least $21 trillion held in offshore havens. “This could be a game-changer,” said Mr. Murphy, the author of a book about offshore tax shelters. “Secrecy is the key product these places sell. Whether you are a criminal laundering money or just someone trying to evade or avoid taxes, secrecy is the one thing you want.” Once this is gone, he added, “it creates an enormous fear factor” and has a “massive deterrent effect.”
And lifting the curtain on the identities of those who keep their money offshore is likely to cause particular anger in austerity-blighted Europe, where governments have been telling people to tighten their belts but have mostly turned a blind eye to wealthier citizens who skirt taxes with help from so-called offshore financial centers.
The leaked records, mainly from the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and Singapore, disclose proprietary information about more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents, including the wealthiest people in more than 170 countries. Not all of those named necessarily have secret bank accounts, and in some cases only conducted business through companies they control that are registered offshore.
The embarrassment caused by Thursday’s revelations has been particularly acute in France, where the Socialist president, François Hollande, who wants to impose a 75 percent tax on millionaires, has been struggling to contain a political firestorm touched off this week by a former budget minister’s — after months of denials — that he had secret foreign bank accounts.
The scandal looked set to widen as senior members of the government were forced to confront allegations that Mr. Hollande and others may have been aware that the budget minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, who resigned on March 19, was lying but failed to act.
Adding to the president’s trouble, the name of a close friend and treasurer of his 2012 election campaign, Jean-Jacques Augier, appeared in connection with the files released Thursday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Mr. Augier, according to the newspaper Le Monde, was identified as an investor in offshore businesses in the Cayman Islands, another well-known tax haven.
Mr. Augier, a friend of Mr. Hollande’s, denied to Le Monde and Agence France-Presse that he had done anything illegal or improper. He said he had invested in funds that invested in China, and that he had no personal bank account in the Cayman Islands or any direct personal investment there. He conceded only that “maybe I lacked a bit of caution.”
Others identified included Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor and eldest daughter of the former Philippine president; Olga Shuvalova, the wife of Russia’s deputy prime minister, ; , a German playboy and photographer who committed suicide in May 2011 at age 78; and , Spain’s wealthiest art collector and the widow of a Thyssen steel company billionaire. The president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and his wife, Mehriban, were featured in the documents as having set up an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands, while their two daughters appeared in connection with three other offshore outfits.
The consortium did not specify how it got the information or where it came from. On its Web site, the group said “the leaked files provide facts and figures — cash transfers, incorporation dates, links between companies and individuals — that illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has spread aggressively around the globe, allowing the wealthy and the well connected to dodge taxes and fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations alike.”
In Germany, now gearing up for national elections in September and a country with both a strong sense of social justice and a long history of tax evaders sneaking money into nearby Switzerland, politicians expressed concern, even outrage, over the disclosures. Of particular concern were indications that big banks in Germany and elsewhere are deeply involved in moving money beyond the reach of tax authorities.
“We should introduce tougher penalties for those financial institutions that are ideal for tax fraud or take part in it,” Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for chancellor, was quoted as saying in the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The issue of tax avoidance has become a highly charged issue across much of Europe, particularly in richer northern countries that are increasingly fed up with demands for bailout money from heavily indebted countries like Greece. A key demand of a recent bailout deal announced for Cyprus was that the nation drastically shrink its role as a financial center and, many in Germany suspect, a haven for money laundering.
Robert Palmer, a policy adviser for , a London research group that focuses on corruption, said the naming of offshore account holders could have powerful political reverberations across Europe because “it shows that if you are wealthy and well connected you play by different rules.”
He said the information released so far did not shed any new light on how offshore finance works but was still significant because it identified people who used hidden shelters.
“This is very unusual because it is so difficult to get any information out of these places,” he said. “It adds to the picture of how easy it is to move money around and will build up the anger of people who are being asked to make cuts but see that there are people out there who benefit hugely from the system.”
The disclosure of offshore financial information is also a potential embarrassment for Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, in that much of the data released so far related to the British Virgin Islands, a British-ruled territory in the Caribbean.
Mr. Cameron had earlier spoken about the importance of tax and financial transparency and pledged to make it a priority issue at a meeting of the leaders of the Group of 8 advanced industrial nations in Northern Ireland in June.
The British Caribbean territory, however, is notoriously secretive and, Mr. Palmer said, one of the most egregious offenders in enabling wealthy people to hide their money to avoid taxes.
Global Witness called on Mr. Cameron and fellow Group of 8 leaders to “crack down on anonymous company ownership.”
The main factor causing natural gas prices to be so incredibly low is an explosion in supply from U.S. shale and other large discoveries in Australia. Globally, the supply of natural gas has increased from around 96 trillion cubic feet in 1995 to more than 141.6 trillion in 2010 (the latest data available).
That’s almost a 50% increase – and we know that supplies and stockpiles have continued to increase. This energy is in high demand in places like Asia (especially Japan) and Europe, where nuclear energy is being phased out as the primary source of electricity. But right now, there’s almost no export capacity in the U.S. and precious little around the world.
That’s why moving natural gas around the globe will be a major growth industry for at least the next two decades. To ship natural gas, first you have to turn it into a liquid by cooling it to 160 degrees below zero Celsius. In this form, natural gas is called liquefied natural gas (LNG). To use it, you have to warm it back up – re-gasify it.
Around the world, there are 89 LNG export facilities operating with a total liquefaction capacity of around 300 million tons per year. Meanwhile, there are 93 LNG import (regasification) terminals operating with a total capacity of around 700 million tons per year.
As you can see, that’s 300 million tons of export capacity versus 700 million tons of import capacity. That’s an export shortfall of 2.3 times capacity. The primary reason this gap exists is because of a lack of liquefaction trains (production units that cool the gas) in the U.S.
Why don’t we have more LNG export facilities in the U.S.? Politics, mostly. There are 20-plus companies waiting for export licenses from President Obama’s administration. The only company able to legally export LNG from the United States today is Cheniere Energy (NYSE: LNG)