Access to Energy. 2000 and After by Melvin A. Conant

By Melvin A. Conant

Conant explores how the transformation of oil from a advertisement commodity to a strategic uncooked fabric have replaced the face of worldwide strength politics. In an more and more interdependent global, Conant questions the correct of any kingdom to withold very important provides from different nations.

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Although prices and 32 / Access to Energy profits continually rose abroad as demand sent oil prices spiraling, the returns to producing governments remained fixed at a very low rate—in some instances only four gold shillings per ton. Prior to the war the major portion of international oil trade centered primarily on the movement of petroleum products (crude oil forming only one-third of the total volume); after 1945 the market changed fundamentally. 3 In addition to the unprecedented rise in the total volume of crude oil traded, the direction of international petroleum trade also changed dramatically.

The most significant action the United States government took was to gain access for American companies in the development of the oil reserves of Iraq. 75 percent share in the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) which controlled Iraqi oil resources. Under the terms of the agreement, however, the American companies were forced to agree not to seek further concessions within an area demarcated by the famous "Red Line" except through the TPC. This area included the former Ottoman territories beyond the boundaries of Iraq.

Not one of these resources can result in a significant lessening of its demand for oil in world trade—which means increasingly from the Middle East—within the next decade at least. But the potential exists for doing so if sufficient and sustained attention is given to conservation, energy research and development, and to the development of known and presumed domestic energy resources. The launching of such an energy program would in itself be a compelling signal to oil-exporting countries. The United States would be moving to regain an energy self-sufficiency necessary to enhance its own security and to regain a flexibility in international affairs which is denied when its dependence upon foreign energy supply is so marked.

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