I really couldn’t make this one any more like a Tom Clancy novel if I tried.
We’ve got the world’s richest family… a Cold War-era Soviet submarine… secret underwater escape routes… ancient geological evidence with global implications… and even a little bit of tribal warfare to top it off.
It’s a story that spans two continents and three decades. And right now, it’s standing at the threshold of a fundamental shift in global economics.
Unfortunately, I can’t get into the details of the story today. You’ll get those from Christian DeHaemer a few weeks from now in his exhaustive report…
What I can tell you about today is about where this story winds up, what it means for the world energy market today — and perhaps through to the end of the 21st century.
For decades, the Middle East has been synonymous with one thing: crude oil. And more specifically, the world’s biggest single oil company — Saudi Arabian Oil — which pumps 3.4 billion barrels annually, has over 264 barrels in reserve, and as of last year, was valued at up to $7 trillion.
Combined with the producing power of Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, and the UAE, the Middle Eastern members of OPEC account for over a quarter of the world’s annual crude production and as much as 60% of its total proven reserves.
Their power has been so great — and so universal — that even the United States, which hit its own crude oil production peak in the early 70s, was left helplessly standing in line for gas when the Arabs imposed their politically-motivated embargoes between 1973 and 1974.
Even fighting a twin-theater world war didn’t bring the States to its knees like that did.
Beginning in the 50s, this natural resource gave rise to the modern Arab oil dynasties largely still power in the region today.
Since then, it’s brought trillions into the region, turning a perpetual desert dotted with the odd oasis and ruled mostly by roving hordes of camel-riding nomads into a powerful economic and industrial force that’s transformed the landscape from this…
But as massive and as influential as this resource has been, we now know that we’ve only really witnessed about 50%-60% of its potential unlocked.
After a recent battery of geological analyses, it’s been determined that the oil-rich zones which created the famous Arab oil dynasties of the 20th century don’t terminate off the Southern Coast of Yemen, as was previously assumed.
The evidence is there, simple to understand, and undeniable…
This oil super-formation actually extends south and west of the Yemini coast underneath the Gulf of Aden, and into what is now the world’s richest untapped crude-oil-bearing region.
How rich? According to the U.S. Geological survey, this East African extension of the Arabian oil geology contains as many as 30 billion barrels of oil.
It’s a revelation that couldn’t have come at a better time for East Africa. Because while the rest of the continent boasts 4 OPEC-member nations, over 20,000 active wells, and accounts for as much as 12% of the world’s daily production, East Africa currently has fewer than 600 operating wells… and is barely on the radar in the global market.
Over the last 20 years, however, a distinct trend has emerged on the African continent as far as oil exploration and production is concerned. And that trend is to push the Eastern frontier:
From the early 80s through today, crude oil exploration, followed by the producers, has steadily been marching toward the Indian Ocean.
The most recent manifestation of this expansion started earlier this year when English oil exploration giant Tullow Oil Plc (LSE: TLW) made a historic 2.2 billion barrel discovery in Western Uganda.
Tullow quickly followed that windfall by securing substantial new property holdings in the region. And in a high-profile move in February 2011, the company denied a buyout attempt by Chinese giant CNOOC on some existing Kenyan exploration blocks.
The next month, another English-based oil exploration player — Afren (LSE: AFR) — purchased the rights to 1,200 square miles of East African exploration territory.
In the subsequent weeks, Munich-based BG Group (BGO.MU), Dominion Petroleum (DPL.L), and $49 billion oil giant Apache (NYSE: APA) negotiated contracts for thousands of additional square miles of exploration blocks in coastal Somalia, as well as inland Uganda and Kenya…
Clearly, in a time when oil prices are pushing companies to make bigger, bolder moves, the East Africa oil boom is becoming a no-brainer for companies looking to make the next strike.
The most concentrated of these reserves, however, are located in a relatively centralized part of the region… mostly within the borders of the East Africa’s most stable and economically-developed nation, Kenya.
In the coming weeks, Christian DeHaemer — who recently traveled to Nairobi to see some of the most aggressive players at work in the field — will fill you in on the details of how this one-time sleepy economy may emerge as the next Dubai in just the next few years.
He’ll explain how this geological link was accidentally discovered by a Soviet submarine on a top-secret Cold War mission. Most importantly, he’ll explain how this discovery has made a single oil company — whose name you’ve probably never heard — the talk of the international crude-producing community.
It’s a report that’s taken months to put together, and required lengthy and strenuous travel to some of the remotest areas accessible to modern industry.
The result of the research promises to be one of DeHaemer’s most explosive stocks yet, so keep your eye out for it.
In the meantime, get the lowdown on an oil play closer to home by reading Keith Kohl’s latest report on the Canadian Oil Sands company with a technology that just put them in reach of the single biggest oil reserve ever.
Call it like you see it,
Editor, Energy and Capital