At the beginning of the century, while the U.S. was involved in military interventions in the Balkans and had triggered what could become the longest war in its history in Afghanistan with the invasion of Iraq yet to come, was also preparing the ground for subordinating the African continent to a new military command.
With 4.5 percent of world population, the U.S. has 30 per cent of oil consumption. Despite being the third largest oil producer in the world, imports 60 percent of its consumption (12.4 to 20.7 million barrels daily use). A decade ago, 15 percent of these imports came from the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean coastline in Africa, mainly Nigeria, and is projected that the proportion increases to 25 percent in the next four years.
The National Energy Policy Report published by the Office of Vice President Richard Cheney on May 16, 2001 stated: “West Africa is expected to be one of the sources of oil and gas for the American market the fastest growing. African oil tends to be high quality and low sulfur … giving it a market share increasing to refineries on the U.S. east coast. “
The following year, the Group of African Oil Policy Initiatives, based in Washington DC, organized a symposium on “African Oil: A Priority for U.S. National Security and African development,” with the participation of U.S. lawmakers, advisors politicians, the private sector and representatives of the State Department and the Department of Defense, and Congressman William Jefferson who said:
“African oil should be treated as a priority for U.S. national security following in 11-S. I think … after the 11-S, we made clear to all that our traditional sources of oil are not as safe as we thought they were. “
As usual in regard to the objectives of U.S. foreign policy, the Pentagon was in charge take the blame. He immediately set to work, carrying out three initiatives to implement the U.S. energy strategy in the Gulf of Guinea: U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the first foreign military command launched since 1983.
The Africa Partnership Station of the U.S. Navy, which has become the backbone of the Global Fleet Station, linked to maritime operations throughout the world as the fleet of 1000 ships and the Initiative for Proliferation Security and directed in the area of responsibility of U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Fourth Fleet, reactivated in 2008: The Caribbean and Central and South America. Response Force NATO’s designed for fast multi-service (infantry, air force, navy and marines) deployed outside the area of responsibility of the American-European bloc.
The 2009 results show some remarkable changes compared to 2008. First, it was observed that the total primary energy supply, i.e. the total amount of energy used by the country to carry out all activities within their borders, decreased by 3.8% over the previous year.
Furthermore, we observed a decline in final consumption sectors, i.e. energy useful for actual applications, which reached 2.4%.
When this information is analyzed in more detail, we can see that this decline is explained mainly by decreases in consumption of industrial and mining sectors and transport, at 3.2% and 4.2% respectively. The only consumer sector showing a slight increase, showing greater resilience to the fall in economic activity is commercial, public and residential, with a positive variation of 2%, which, however, not enough to compensate the fall in consumption of the other two.
It should be noted that this drop in consumption is mainly reflected in the consumption of petroleum and coal, tools that natural gas consumption increased significantly with the coming into operation of the degasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additionally, increased domestic production of primary energy by 6.8% (although less satisfying than a third of total consumption), and reduced total energy imports by 8.8%.
On this occasion, the information presents substantial improvements on previous years; it expanded both the number of surveys requested information. In particular, there was information of enterprises or production facilities to double the number of surveys conducted in previous years. Moreover, the detail of information requested grew to analyze better the penetration of certain technologies such as wind or biomass and the use made of energy.
“The changes respond to a policy outlined by the Ministry of Energy that seeks to improve the quality and coverage of the statistics generated to provide better information to citizens and to meet international requirements in this area. In particular, the country’s accession to the OECD and the recent application to the International Energy Agency (IEA), necessitate the need to build statistics with the highest standards of quality, “said Energy Minister, Ricardo Rainer.
Since October, the Ministry also started officially delivered on a regular basis (monthly and quarterly), information to the International Energy Agency (IEA) on production and consumption of oil, coal, gas, electricity and heat, as well as information prices, especially fuel. The requirements imposed by the release of this information, will require continued efforts to strengthen statistical capacity within the Ministry.