Brazil Oil Discovery - And a Lesson in Bias

Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company has discovered a major  location of oil reserves 180 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that, under ideal circumstances, could launch Brazil as a petroleum exporter. As the article notes, it appears to be light oil, which is easier and cheaper to refine than heavier oil found in Venezuela. While this oil is deep below the surface of the ocean, Petrobras is an innovator in deep water drilling:

So, Petrobras engineers worked with manufacturers to develop pressure-resistant instruments and progressively moved seaward,
breaking global depth records along the way.

"Petrobras became the leader in deepwater drilling," said Tom Marsh, publisher at ODS-Petrodata, a researcher based in Houston that tracks data on offshore energy projects. "Their oil was offshore and that made the
Brazilian coast one big, giant research and development project."

So where does the bias come in? In this article about the discovery the Wall Street Journal gets out the knives at first:

But in a reminder of the role of governments in world oil supplies,
Brazilian officials also yanked leases giving access to nearby and

similar areas from a coming auction.

Wow! A government protects the investment it has in its state-owned energy company! Not content to get in a dig at Petrobras, the WSJ writers decide to downplay the significance of the find:

Even if Tupi contains the high estimate of eight billion barrels, the
world consumes about 86 million barrels a day, so it may contain about

three months of supply.

In other words if this were the only place in the world that had oil, it would be exhausted in three months. Perhaps the WSJ should have writers write about petroleum who have heard of such nations as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Venezuela, Indonesia, Angola, Libya and Iran, among numerous others.

Let's compare that best case scenario to a favorite location to tap oil from the rightwingers: The Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). According to this organization, which advocates opening ANWR to oil development, here's what may be there (warning: pdf file):

The quantities of technically recoverable oil are not expected to be uniformly distributed throughout the ANWR 1002 Area. The undeformed area is estimated to contain between 3.4 and 10.2 billion barrels of oil (BBO) (95- and 5-percent probability), with a mean of 6.4 BBO. The deformed area is estimated to contain between 0 and 3.2 BBO (95- and 5-percent probability), with a mean of 1.2 BBO.

In other words, the mean potential for ANWR is less than the ideal estimates for Tupi. If Alaska were the only place in the world that had oil, ANWR would also be exhausted in three months.

Better journalists, please.

Cross-posted at Beautiful Horizons.

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    so (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jen M on Sun Nov 11, 2007 at 12:25:40 PM EST
    "Its not mine
    they won't give it to me
    its no good anyway
    and they are p--pheads"

    Containment of imperialism (1.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 10, 2007 at 11:00:25 AM EST
    There's a term going around in the corporate media called, "multi-polarity." It's really a euphemism, designed to describe the death of white supremacy over the planet. It's been a long time coming - more than five centuries, since the European invasion of the rest of the continents began, resulting in the death of untold millions of people. Whole civilizations were wiped away, to make way for a northern European global sphere of influence. Now that era is coming to an end.<...>

    China, India, Brazil and South Africa have joined in a political and economic compact to resist the domination of the United States and Europe. The political-economy of capitalism dictates that these nations must be dealt with. The social realities of the United States dictate that it cannot raise a military force sufficient to suppress the dark masses. Europe learned this lesson a generation ago. Now it is time for the white supremacist Americans to learn the same lesson: they cannot rule the world.

    Multipolarity: An End to US Hegemony??