Рубрика | Oilreview

Crude Oil: Wild Directions

Is Iran next to go?

Today, amid a more unconditional affirmation of the principles of a unipolar world, the United States’ map of political priorities has expanded to boundaries that one could not imagine even a decade ago. With this globalization of U.S. interests, two new directions – Iran and Africa – have showed up on the map. This is the place where the interests of power-enhancing China are focused. And with Washington remaining the last card in a sophisticated game of global solitaire, it is playing the game.

NATO’s recent war against Libya has once again confirmed that it was based on getting access to the crude oil reserves of that North African country. One can now say with certainty that many «unclear» wars are in fact fights for «black gold.» Crude oil has long become a cause of war and conflicts. Historic events bring proof.

The attack on Pearl Harbor

In December 1940, after his successful re-election to a third term, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt declared the United States «the Arsenal of Democracy.»

In March 1941, a Lend-Lease system was launched, which eliminated the problem of payment blocking the way of U.S. shipments to Britain (as Franklin Roosevelt said, to «get away from the dollar sign»). U.S. oil was among the commodities used for lending on condition of debt repayment in the indefinite future.

Seventy years ago, December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy suddenly attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Over 350 Japanese aircraft swept over the base, firing at it, dropping bombs and torpedoes. Four battleships sank, four more were seriously damaged, and eight more ships were either sunk or damaged. 188 American aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 people were killed and there were 1,282 injuries. The next day the U.S. declared war on Japan, officially ushering in the Second World War.

The Land of the Rising Sun and its fleet almost entirely depended on crude oil imports, primarily from the U.S. But in 1941, in response to the Japanese invasion of China, the United States restricted its exports of oil. Then the Japanese government decided that if the Americans cut off the crude oil, they would have to look for another source. This was one of the reasons for the invasion in oil-rich Dutch-governed Indonesia. (Incidentally, Japan is still an importer, but now it buys crude oil in the Middle East.).

The Middle East

There is hardly another region in the world in which crude oil could be as important as it is to the Persian Gulf. The Middle East is home for this «treasured underground storeroom» with 61.7% of the proven international reserves of crude oil and 40.6% of the natural gas. The normal functioning of economies in Western Europe, China, Japan and other countries depends on their regular supplies.

You can read full article in  journal «Terminal: Oil Review» №50(584) 12 Dec 2011

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