China’s Addiction to Middle East Oil
The more I understand world events, the more convinced I’ve become that there is a Supernatural God guiding world events. Just as China began a massive surge in its consumption of oil, the U.S. began lowering its need for foreign oil with the fracking revolution. Many books have been written that argue that China and America are destined for war because of black gold. We remain at peace because the market has been able to maintain a near-perfect balance between supply and demand.
China is now the world’s largest oil importer. In 1994, the Chinese economy ran completely on the 3 million barrels per (mpd) day that came from state-owned oil companies. Over the past 24 years, consumption has shot up to 13 mpd. China now needs to import 8.5 mpd to keep its economy going.
There is no indication that China’s oil demand is leveling off. If you look at a chart of Chinese oil consumption growth, it’s moving up at a 45-degree angle. A nation of 1.4 billion people could easily triple its oil consumption and still be nowhere near America’s daily usage of petroleum.
The security of oil flows has been an increasingly pressing worry for Chinese leaders. A large percentage of China’s crude imports come from countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq. While the U.S. has become carefree about troubles in the Middle East, China’s president has made numerous trips to Arab capitals to keep tabs on his oil suppliers.
The change in the flow of oil from West to East has brought into question the need for the petrodollar standard. This is an agreement the U.S. struck with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollars. China is seeking to introduce a new gold-backed, yuan-based oil benchmark. Trade in oil futures would switch from West Texas Intermediate to the Shanghai. Russia and Iran are heavy backers of this plan because they know it would help to unseat the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
The response to China’s power grab for oil has been pure delusion on our part. Every few days I read about some nation saying that by the next couple decades they are going to have 100 percent battery-powered cars. Germany has the fourth largest car manufacturing industry in the world, and its federal council (the Bundesrat) has passed a resolution that calls for a total ban on internal combustion engines by 2030. Norway decided to follow and outdo Germany by setting a 2025 target where only 100 percent electric cars will be allowed at dealerships.
There are about 1.2 billion vehicles on the world’s roads, and there is no way we could replace them with battery-powered engines. To make a rechargeable car that can go long distances requires a battery made from lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, cadmium, and lead. Some of these metals are classified as rare-earth elements.
Cobalt would be the mother of supply-chain headaches. As much as 65 percent of this global supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where cobalt production has fallen this year because of the unstable political situation. This sparked a 90 percent jump in the price of cobalt to a peak of $61,000 a ton earlier this month.
These environmentalist dreamers might as well mandate that by 2020 all travel will be conducted by teleportation machines. As a result, all maintenance on roads will immediately come to an end. The stocks of oil companies may go bust, but I doubt it will because of a decline in the price of oil.
The recent oil glut is mostly the creation of deficit spending. The oil industry has maintained its production levels by going deeper and deeper into debt. Since the 2008 global economic and financial crisis, the top seven oil companies have seen their total combined debt explode four times, from $96 billion to $379 billion currently. In 1997, Chevron enjoyed a $3.2 billion net profit on revenues of $42 billion. Last year, Chevron lost $497 million on total sales of $114 billion. Even though Chevron’s revenues nearly tripled in twenty years, it’s a money-losing venture.
Unless there is a massive spike in the price of oil, the big oil firms are going to eventually implode. Since OPEC has a lock on most of the world’s cheap oil, we may return to the days when this organization was able to dictate the spot price of crude. Now that Beijing has become OPEC’s biggest customer, it would mean for us to try to regain our old market share of Arab oil.
There may be some other reason why China is part of a 200-million army that invades the Middle East. Since numerous wars have been fought over oil in the past, it is logical to conclude that more wars will be fought in the future.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them”(Revelation 9:16).
Peripheral Prophecy Pondering
Dr. Mark Hitchcock, speaking at the opening of the Prophecy Watcher’s Blessed Hope Prophecy Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, a little over a week ago, reminded me of a question some have had over the years. I, too, have asked the question. Why does the Gog-Magog coalition of Ezekiel 38–39 apparently mount a land invasion rather than simply nuke Israel?
It is a peripheral issue to be sure, but one that is interesting to ponder in light of current goings-on just to Israel’s north.
It is true that Ezekiel saw a massive military juggernaut invade “like a cloud to cover the land.” This could indicate a cloud of aircraft, but, not necessarily. A land invasion in that arid region would certainly kick up a lot of dust. We saw some of that kind of action during both Gulf Wars.
My friend Mark mentioned that some believe certain technological problems might be at the heart of it being a land invasion. The conjecture is based upon the same thought as expressed in Salem Kirban’s novel of many years ago titled 666.
Kirban portrayed the Russian-led attack, primarily from the north of Israel, as being one conducted with ancient weapons—horses and all—just like Ezekiel has it. I forget the technology that had, in the fictional account, rendered the modern weapons of war inoperable. But, they fought totally with, basically, weapons like the prophet describes.
The weapons were mostly of wood and other material that readily burns. So, Israel was able to use the weapons as fuel for heating, etc., once the flesh-and-blood part of the force, five-sixths having been dispatched by the Lord, was no longer a threat.
Dr. Hitchcock brought up the possibility, according to what some believe, that electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapons might be used to render all modern weaponry useless by the time the Gog-Magog invasion takes place.
EMP, of course, disrupts electronic circuitry of all instrumentalities not protected when a nuclear explosion takes place in the atmosphere. All computer and other electronic circuitry on land, and even in the air near where the explosion takes place, supposedly will be fried. Thus, nuclear warfare, some believe, will help fulfill—in the most literal sense—Ezekiel’s prophecy about horses, sword, bucklers, and shields used as weaponry in that future time.
At present there is much dispute about Iran’s (area of ancient Persia) nuclear program. Persia is given as one of the primary members of the Gog-Magog coalition military force. That force obviously, according to Scripture, doesn’t use nuclear force against Israel in that prophesied attack. So, the question is: Why not?
Perhaps it is the EMP scenario. However, there are other possibilities.
Gog, in his evil thinking, wouldn’t want Israel’s “spoil,” as it is called in the KJV, contaminated by radiation from nuclear weapons. Another is, the Gog-Magog force wouldn’t want to go into a nuclear-radiated territory in order to occupy it.
They want to completely destroy Israel and do away with every Jew, that’s for certain. But it seems the main thinking in Gog’s satanically inspired brain is to take the riches in the region.
Another scenario is, of course, that Iran will indeed give up its nuclear ambition. That would mean that Russia, too, and any others would have given up their nuclear weapons for whatsoever reasons by the time of the Gog-Magog assault.
This, in my thinking, is the least of the possibilities.
Maybe Israel will have been so weakened by the covenant made with Antichrist as given in Daniel 9:26–27 that Israel will be the proverbial sitting duck. Thus, ol’ Gog won’t believe he needs to use the nukes.
As part of considering all of this, it is more than of just passing interest that President Trump is about to nuke the nuclear deal President Obama made with Iran—this, even in the face of rebellion by all others in the deal, including U.S. allies.
The globalists, as I view the satanically influenced architects of the tremendous backlash against anything this president does to keep America sovereign, turn a blind eye to the fact that the ayatollahs allow no inspections of their key nuclear development facilities.
Mr. Obama completely cast aside President Reagan’s rubric for negotiations with diabolists such as Russia and Iran: “Trust, but verify.”
It seems those American allies, under the influence of globalist groupthink, have joined the insanity in giving the Israel-hating Islamists the benefit of a doubt, as the saying goes. The excerpt that follows makes the point, I think.
Global powers, including key US allies, have said they will stand by the Iran nuclear deal which US President Donald Trump has threatened to tear apart.
Mr. Trump said on Friday that he would stop signing off on the agreement.
The UK, France and Germany responded that the pact was “in our shared national security interest.” The EU said it was “not up to any single country to terminate” a “working” deal.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the US was “more isolated than ever.” (Iran nuclear deal: Global powers stand by pact despite Trump threat – BBC, Oct. 15, 2017)
Developments in Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Israel are all part of another of the things Mark Hitchcock and many of us who spoke discussed at the conference. The word of the hour is convergence.
Convergence—the coming-together of practically every signal for the end of the age—is upon this generation. Developments north of Israel at the present moment are possibly the most significant of all of the signals that Christ’s Second Advent is near.
Since that great event will take place at least seven years later than the Rapture of the Church, we who name the name of Jesus should be in a state of anticipation of, not in fear of things to come.
When you see all these things begin to come to pass, then, look up and lift up your head, for your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28)