Oil politics : a modern history of petroleum / Francisco Parra.
Parra, Francisco R. 31657 author
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The politics of oil revolves around its price and the reliability of its suppliers. In turn, many international conflicts in the world today are rooted... in these politics. Not surprisingly: the price of oil is managed by a cartel-OPEC-some of whose member governments are deeply hostile to the United States and other major importers of oil. And OPEC controls nearly two-thirds of the world's oil reserves. Ironically, the United States and many others, especially non-OPEC producers of energy, have come to rely on OPEC to set prices that encourage the development of high-cost oil elsewhere, and thus promote some diversity of supply.Fundamental to any understanding of the politics of the contemporary world is an understanding of the politics and most recent history of petroleum. Francisco Parra, drawing on his long and varied experience in international oil, sets out the events that have shaped the industry over the past fifty years--the displacement of coal as the world's prime fuel; the tight control of international oil by the seven major oil companies (all US or British), monopolizing production in the Middle East and Venezuela; the rise of OPEC and the ousting of the companies in a bitter struggle in which the companies were abandoned by their home governments; how the world was hypnotized for more than a decade by the delusion of impending depletion; and the political turbulence that has led to wars in the Middle East, to US sanctions on Iran, Iraq, and Libya, and, most recently, to the invasion of Iraq.After a surge in non-OPEC oil production in the 1980s and 1990s, dependence on the Middle East is increasing and OPEC's control over price is volatile. Parra asks whether this enduring predicament-that holds the threat of political conditions being attached to the supply of oil-can be managed by the "West", to avert successive and deepening crises in the pricing and supply of oil and in the world at large.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 353-360) and index.ix, 364 pages :
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