Dreams of Oil!

By: Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Mon 2 May / May 2016. 10:02 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

The moment news came out about Israeli discoveries of oil, said to be huge, in the dead sea a few days ago, scepticism renewed regarding the statements made by consecutive governments on the infeasibility of investing in oil in that area.

Eventually, this scepticism roots in the Jordanians’ dreams of their Country becoming an oil producing one; that fortunes would grow to alleviate their poverty and unemployment; that they could then afford more luxurious lifestyles, the way it is in oil producing Gulf countries, even though some live out their luxuries regardless of being unable to afford them.

Next to that, these dreams spur out of frustration, to a huge extent, in regards to the failures of these governments in the construction of a productive economy that would facilitate comprehensive, sustainable development. With the “delusional” wealth of oil, not much effort or sacrifice would be put to attain development; hypothetically speaking.

More so, it seems many of us cannot, or maybe do not want to, forgo dreams of oil, in spite of all the fundamental changes undergone in the most scalable of oil producing countries; Saudi most recently for instance, preceded relatively be the Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, who refused to be dependent on oil.

Saudi now, with the new “2030” vision, are thinking beyond oil; how to build a manufacturing and production base economy, instead of the aggregative dependency on easy income from oil. Still, many of us clutch on to their own dreams without any indicator whatsoever to the viability of their initiation, let alone their attainment.

This way, the dreams of Jordanian oil remain on hold, in spite of recurrent statements we so actively seek, as journalists, with an eye out for such news. In every occasion, an official declares, or an expert, that all studies and research have been leading to one, unchanging conclusion; that the quantities found in that area (east or west of it) are not commercially feasible. And despite all the official rejection to the notion, people hold the conviction strong, the delusion, that there are millions of barrels of oil in that area; especially since “Trans Global” announced their supposedly promising findings in 2008, later proven to be wrong.

Generally, people claim there is a cover-up of a reality they still dream of; they sometimes resort to “conspiracy theory” to justify their persistence, employing logical analysis at times, at least seemingly, to pose the question of why would Jordan be excluded from the blessings of oil, in spite of its strategic geographic location, along the Great Rift Valley?!

The big question is: Why are Jordanians not losing hope already? That the idea of there being oil to be discovered in Jordan, is still present to their mind!

Given the human-attribute to any society, it is every human’s right to dream of a better life, were it not realisable in tangible reality. And this is what is happening with the Jordanians, whom have been frustrated by their governments, time after time, driving their dreams to the coarse rigid grounds of reality.

Jordanians may be wrong in regards to the whole oil thing, but their evaluation of governmental efforts to invest resources, failingly, is very realistic and true. Many resources are neglected, unexploited, and their returns long due, with strategy and planning absent; particularly the failures in planning for the energy sector for decades, taxying the Country into a difficult complexity of recurrent crises, weighed with debt and tremendous damage to the economy, every time.

Shale oil, uranium, copper, iron, gold, gas, and other resources, unexploited, without real serious investments; this, of course, reflecting on the popular situation. And the policies impotence in terms of attaining people’s aspirations and accommodating them, the dream of oil stands, necessarily.

Disillusioning people, driving them to wake from their dreams, is not possible with recurrent official denial of having commercial oil in Jordan. Disillusioning people is done with economic transformation to a new stage, loosening up the nooses on economic sectors in general, which have been long suffocating under the weighed of failures to plan for the energy sector particularly (among other factors of course), and energy security. A failure that is notably, now, being somewhat addressed.