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Alternate History

Kuwait (Peak Oil 1996)

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Kuwait, for the moment, is stable. Located in one of the most dangerous places in the world (bordering the bleeding countries of Iraq and Arabia), Kuwait's major problem is the influx of migrants that is putting a strain on its infrastructure and social fabric. Terrorist attacks have also started to increase, mostly due to a number of Iraqi insurgents who have slipped into the country. However, on the bright side, Kuwait has enough oil for its population, and although it is past peak, it is still able to export some oil to other countries. This oil, which fluctuates wildly but is often around the US$500/barrel range, has been an enormous boost to the nation, and Kuwait is trying to implement a post-peak energy infrastructure, including fields of solar panels, which are extremely useful seeing as Kuwait is mostly desert, and the sun is usually very strong in the daytime.

Pre-Peak

Kuwait was and still is a constitutional monarchy. In the mid-20th century, Kuwait became a major oil producer, with one oil field, Burgan, accounting for nearly half of all oil reserves. In 1984, Kuwait became the first nation to double its proven reserves on paper, in a single year. Other nations followed. Because of a quota system in OPEC where the more reserves you had, the more oil you could pump, Kuwait (and the other countries later) decided to just create reserves on paper that didn't exist in the real world. The world didn't even blink. However, peak oil would show that such lies should not have been overlooked.

Post-Peak

By 2000, when the extent of world turmoil and the lack of any energy solutions proved to be too severe to continue on the same course, Kuwait took two drastic measures. First, it peaked itself manually. That is, it manually cut production to about one-half of its previous production. This angered the energy starved nations that imported Kuwaiti oil, but Kuwait just hoped that it wouldn't be invaded. And anyway, if the government were toppled by some foreign power, running Kuwait would be someone else's problem. Kuwait, so far, has not been taken over. In fact, it is seen as one of the suppliers that can be counted on to produce a steady stream of oil for the short term - keeping flat since 2000 while most exports from other countries have declined. The second drastic measure was to cut its population. From 2000-2005, Kuwait expelled nearly half of its population. This is because the majority of residents in Kuwait were expatriates. With a cut in oil production, not only has the oil lasted longer, but a large number of people working in the industry could be gotten rid of. Although there have been some protests by those who did not want to be sent back to their ailing countries of origin, Kuwait has lessened its domestic use of energy by about 2/3rds, through a loss of population and energy conservation measures.

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