Entitled the “Sarhan Well” – with the word sarhan meaning “daydreaming” as well as the name of the oil well in the valley known as “Wadi Sarhan” – I think Emad Hajjaj’s latest caricature perfectly describes this country’s pipe dreams when it comes to oil production; a topic that has picked up some steam recently in Parliament.
Every time a new government takes power in Jordan they burst out with promises of oil explorations, full-fledged oil shale production, et cetera. As time goes by, these promises remain broken and of course they are compensated with rising fuel prices. This sets the stage for the next government to put on a bigger and more spectacular show; something that says they’re handling the situation.
The Lower House is following suit these days who are demanding the government set a date to present their findings on oil explorations in the country. Part of this is due to the discovery by local citizens in the East Maan region of a small area that seems to be bleeding black stuff from the ground. The Sarhan oil well, according to experts, would only produce 20 barrels of oil a day, representing $2000 a day in monetary terms. The well was first explored in 1988 when production wasn’t worth it with oil being $10. Today, it’s a different story but despite the media hype, the well’s contents are barely enough to cover the fuel needed for a Hummer making a short trip to the supermarket. Nevertheless, the government has contracted an Indian company to start its digging some time next year.
Politicians in this country still love dragging the media around to these little remote desert oil sites to conducts a few experiments that are along the lines of using a match to show how it burns. They take a few pictures and they all run these stories that are like the next coming of Christ, which is what the state loves because hopes and pipe dreams have that subduing element to them. It’s just another distraction from the reluctance to invest heavily in the idea of sustainable, viable and long term alternative energies. Ones that don’t have the ability to turn the sky black or give birth to a generation of three legged, radioactive kids that shoot lasers from their eyes.
The truth of the matter is, of all the moot issues in this country, the oil topic is perhaps the most redundant and recycled; the one that has no beginning and no end.
Just a whole lotta dreaming.